As the weather becomes colder, our need for warmth grows even stronger. But warmth doesn't only apply to the temperature of our surroundings—it's also about what can comfort our hearts and souls.
At Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada, we're dedicated to uplifting the community's bodies, hearts, and souls. To do this, we help people of all cultures and beliefs overcome poverty and become self-sufficient through a variety of services and programs in the Reno/Sparks community and across rural Nevada. On average, we serve more than 20,000 individuals each month.
Our donors and volunteers fortify those services by keeping the lights on, the pantries filled, and our operations running.
This November, we're offering several ways to bring warmth to those who need it.
Volunteers Needed to Help Catholic Charities Programs
Catholic Charities can give back to our community thanks to our volunteers, who are so generous with their time. We have many opportunities and need help with many different programs.
For those teens older than 16 who are looking to do some good, we need your help. Young adults are welcome to volunteer by helping to assemble and distribute food boxes, serve hot meals, or sort donations for St. Vincent's Thrift Stores. Families are also welcome to volunteer as a group. We are also looking for groups of volunteers from local businesses and organizations who want to make a difference. This philanthropic activity can help build connections and morale.
For those with a busy schedule during the week, Catholic Charities has several options that will allow you to have an impact on our community. St. Vincent's Dining Room needs help serving the hungriest members of our community between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The St. Vincent's Thrift Stores are open on Saturdays and Sundays. They always need help sorting donations that generate revenue for poverty assistance programs.
There are also many ways to help from your home. You can create hygiene kits for our most vulnerable clients, which could include items such as travel size shampoo and conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products. With the holidays around the corner, we also need pre-filled stockings to distribute to children in need at our operation Stocking Stuffer event on Dec. 15. Stockings can be filled with toys, clothing, treats, toiletries, games, and other appropriate items. We are accepting donations for the event through Dec. 7 at St. Vincent's Thrift Shop, located at 500 E. Fourth St.
Visit ccsnn.org to get involved and volunteer today.
Warming Center Opens in Downtown Reno
One of the most dangerous times of day to be homeless is between pre-dawn and sunrise. That's why we operate a Warming Center from 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday in St. Vincent's Dining Room on Valley Road from November through March. During those hours, the center serves coffee and hot cereal to individuals in need.
Catholic Charities opened the Warming Center as a pilot program last year. On the first day, more than 400 individuals came in from the cold, and more than 250 people used the program each day.
Whether it's by serving hot coffee and cereal or donating money, community members ensure that the Warming Center can help all who need it. To help keep the warmth going, contact Lisa Ross at firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer.
St. Vincent's Dining Room Feeds Bodies and Souls
Every Monday through Saturday, the St. Vincent's Dining Room serves a free hot cafeteria-style lunch to more than 500 people. Since our beginning, we have served more than 3 million free meals.
St. Vincent's is far from a soup kitchen as Chef Kim ensures that everyone gets a hot, delicious, and nutritious meal. The Dining Room serves all who are hungry six days a week, including holidays, in a clean and safe environment. We welcome both individuals and families to join us for lunch. Visits to the Dining Room often increase later in the week and month as social security and food stamps dwindle.
Donations of food are accepted at any of the Catholic Charities Thrift Store donation centers or the St. Vincent's Dining Room/Catholic Charities Main Campus. To donate money online, visit ccsnn.org/pages/ways-to-donate.
St. Vincent’s Hosts One of Northern Nevada's Largest Free Thanksgiving Meals
Preparations are underway to serve more than 1,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day at St. Vincent's Dining Hall. Catholic Charities strives to make Thanksgiving a day that inspires gratitude and hope. Anyone in need can receive a Thanksgiving meal — no questions asked — between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 28 at St. Vincent's Dining Room, 325 Valley Road, Reno.
This year's menu will include a traditional Thanksgiving meal with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and cranberry sauce, followed by pumpkin pie. Leftovers will be delivered to the Reno Police Department to show our appreciation of their service to our community.
We welcome volunteers and donations from the entire community to sustain this vital tradition. We are especially thankful to the Nugget in Sparks for its continued support of this program.
Feeding Families with 8,000 Meals for the Holidays
Dozens of staff members and community volunteers distribute hams and holiday food bags to more than 4,000 local families in need on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at St. Vincent’s Food Pantry. Catholic Charities will also deliver an additional 4,000 meals to residents in rural communities in Northern Nevada.
Each bag will include a ham, and holiday fixings including canned fruits and vegetables, boxed potatoes, bread or rolls, and dessert.
The event takes place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 4 at St. Vincent’s Food Pantry, 500 E. 4th St., Reno, NV 89512. Individuals and families usually begin lining up as early as 5 a.m.
To make this program possible, we are looking for food donations and volunteers. To learn more about how to help, visit ccsnn.org.
Truckee River Choir Raises Voices and Spirits
Those who wish to use their voice and talent for good can join the newly formed Truckee River Choir, a collaboration between Catholic Charities, Note-Able Music Therapy Services, and Bella Voce Reno. The choir offers inclusive musical experiences and gives those with a passion for music a purposeful place to be.
Conceptually based on street choirs in larger U.S. cities, the Truckee River Choir is unique because a board-certified music therapist is present at every rehearsal. Each session incorporates elements of music therapy to help people gain health and well-being.
Rehearsals take place from 1 to 2 p.m. every Thursday in St. Vincent's Dining Room located at 325 Valley Road in Reno. No musical experience is required, and drop-ins are always welcome. Participation in the choir is free and open to all.
Casa de Vida Brings Services to Young Mothers
Casa de Vida will host its annual fall fundraising event, Be A Candle, Help Us Bring Light and Hope to Young Mothers, on Nov. 23, at The Club in Arrowcreek.
For more than 30 years, Casa de Vida has provided a safe home and support to pregnant young women and mothers in the community who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. This private, nonprofit organization strives to make a positive difference in the lives of these women and their children by teaching life skills that will set them on a path of success.
The event will include cocktails, dinner, dancing, and a raffle. Proceeds from the event ensure Casa de Vida can continue to provide outstanding services to women in need.
With all these programs, events, activities, and fundraisers, Catholic Charities strives to fulfill its mission by warming one person at a time. For more information and to get involved, visit ccsnn.org.