Caritas of Waco: From Hunger to Hope
Caritas of Waco is known for the urgent support they provide to those in need in our community. Food, clothing, household items, utility assistance, prescription medication assistance, help with rent or mortgage payments and emergency lodging and travel assistance are just a few of the areas addressed by Caritas. The SNAP Outreach program aids individuals in the enrollment process for food stamps and other state and federal assistance programs. Caritas administers a Gifts-in-Kind program in conjunction with the Waco Wal-Mart Return Center. This service allows other nonprofit organizations to access charitable merchandise for their clients. Caritas also operates two thrift stores, the proceeds of which go toward supporting the day-to-day operations of the agency.
Another important component of Caritas’ work is the Case Management Program, which helps clients identify and address obstacles in their lives that prevent them from becoming independent. One of those clients is LaCasey, a 26-year-old single mother of two. Self-described as outgoing and bubbly, her passion in life is helping others. LaCasey turned to Caritas to help in her pursuit of a nursing degree.
Before receiving help from the Case Management Program, LaCasey was moving from dead-end job to dead-end job, trying to support her children. She wanted to further her education, but didn’t know how to accomplish that and still provide for her family. She wanted a better life for her children. In her words: “What I do right now will determine if they starve or succeed. I want to lead by example. When you’re a young woman from where I’m from, there’s a lot of poverty, a lot of teen pregnancy. You don’t have anything to motivate you. I hope to change this in my community.”
Caritas helped LaCasey enroll in Certified Nursing Assistant courses. She recently passed her state test and is now employed at a local hospital. Although working full-time, she continues to pursue a nursing degree. “My favorite part of Caritas is the support”, says LaCasey. “God and Ms. Tammy (Caritas Case Manager) continually motivate me.”
LaCasey is one of the many lives that are being changed every day by the work of Caritas of Waco.
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