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Raising the Roof to Raise Funds to Ease Poverty

Raising the Roof to Raise Funds to Ease Poverty
Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada transforms annual, cornerstone fundraiser into a virtual extravaganza featuring rooftop feats of fundraising
The support and generosity of our community is heart warming and continues to amaze me.

August is typically the time of year that we at Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada would be buttoning up the final details on our annual Plates to Ease Poverty gala. By now, the menu would be chosen, the décor designed, the invitations sent, and the recipients of the Bishop’s Humanitarian Award notified. We’d be well on our way to holding this cornerstone event that raises critical funds for our poverty assistance programs for those in deepest need in our community.

However, 2020 is anything but a typical year! So, to keep our community, our sponsors, our staff, and our clients safe, we’ve transformed this sit-down-gala into a virtual extravaganza featuring rooftop feats of fundraising.

How We're Raising the Roof

During Raise the Roof to Ease Poverty on Aug. 17, K-Bull 98.1 FM on-air personality and a steadfast Catholic Charities supporter, JJ Christy will perch atop Dolan Toyota at sunrise, braving the elements, until the community meets his fundraising goal of $50,000. He will be joined on the rooftop by KOLO chief meteorologist Jeff Thompson, who will broadcast the weather live from the roof.

The donations that JJ receives will fund our critical mission to support those in need in the Reno/Sparks community, as well as across rural Nevada. For more than 70 years, we have helped people of all cultures and beliefs rise out of poverty and overcome the barriers to self-sufficiency. We do this through a broad range of services, including food resources, case management, and residential programs. On average, more than 20,000 individuals receive support from us every month. We focus our efforts on food services and intervention and support services to help individuals and families move toward stability. We also operate two thrift stores that provide critical funding for our programs and provide workforce development opportunities.

Now, more than ever, we are seeing an increased demand for our services, particularly in our Resource Hub for emergency rental and utility assistance, and in our Food Pantry as families and individuals try to extend their diminished income and still provide food for their families. The support and generosity of our community is heart warming and continues to amaze me.

Due to this increase in demand and the economic changes presented by COVID-19, we need to secure sponsorships and donations of at least $100,000 in addition to JJ’s fundraising goal of $50,000, to meet the need for assistance we are experiencing. In short, we need your support. While we cannot gather in person for our gala, we humbly ask you to consider supporting our virtual event. Some of the ways you can help include:

  • Donate once or consider a monthly re-occurring gift
  • Choose CCNN through a company match or corporate volunteer opportunities
  • If you own a retail business, do a “round up” donation on purchases
  • Ask that a donation be made to CCNN instead of presents and gifts for a celebration
  • Make a gift in remembrance of a loved one
  • Donate a car
  • Designate Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada on your AmazonSmile purchase program

Your generosity helps those in need and makes a meaningful difference in the lives of the thousands of men, women, and children of all faiths that we serve each year here in Northern Nevada.

The second part of the event will come later that day, when Wendy Damonte will host a live Facebook event from 6:30-7:30 p.m., highlighting client success stories and our poverty assistance services. To learn more, follow us on Facebook to receive updates as we draw closer to Aug. 17.

Some of the programs and stories she’ll highlight will include:

St. Vincent’s Dining Room

Reno’s oldest “soup kitchen” welcomes all who are hungry in our community. The dining room serves a free hot lunch to more than 300 people each day, seven days a week. In the wake of COVID-19, we are helping more individuals who are working, but just can’t make ends meet. We also continue to serve many individuals who are experiencing homelessness and are residents of various shelters.

The Dining Room is the only one of our programs that does not receive any local, state, or federal grants. It is entirely supported by private donations, thrift store revenue, and volunteer hours. In the upcoming year, we hope to add mobile hot food distribution to reach those who can’t visit the St. Vincent’s Dining Room as well as year-round breakfast.

St. Vincent’s Food Pantry

The St. Vincent’s Food Pantry is the largest in Northern Nevada, serving more than 15,000 people each month. We offer non-perishable, canned, and packaged food products, as well as produce and meat, cheese, and eggs to individuals and families in need at no cost. Each household receives 45-60 pounds of food when they visit.

The Food Pantry is fortunate the have a state grant to fund a portion of the food we provide to our clients. However, donations help us reach our budget goals and keep the pantry fully operational to distribute more than 6 million pounds of food across Northern Nevada.

The pandemic brought additional need in other area parishes, such as Saint Francis of Assisi at Incline Village and St. Peter Canisius in Sun Valley. Each week, our pantry staff prepares nearly 200 boxes of food to assist families in these areas. In addition, the Food Pantry supplemented other services and donations to more than 900 families through the St. Vincent’s Resource Hub and Boys & Girls Club Truckee Meadows.

St. Vincent’s Resource Hub

The Resource Hub at Catholic Charities is staffed with social workers and case managers who serve those in need of assistance to meet their most basic needs for shelter, clothing, hygiene, connection to employment, benefits enrollment, and other support services.

During COVID-19, the Resource Hub’s most significant impact has been assisting families with rental and energy assistance. The Hub has also addressed an increase in the need for food, clothing, and rental assistance for elderly and disabled individuals.

Immigration Assistance Program

Our Immigration Assistance Program aims to provide high quality, low cost or pro-bono legal immigration services for foreign-born individuals and their families who seek to obtain or extend lawful immigration status or who are seeking citizenship in the United States.

While a federal grant helps us reach our annual budget goals, we rely on fee-based revenue and donations to expand the program to meet the needs of our community and provide additional outreach and education regarding the ever-changing field of immigration law.

Crossroads Sober Living

Crossroads Sober Living Community is a collaboration between Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada and Washoe County Human Services Agency that began in 2011. The program provides a supportive sober living arrangement for men battling addiction and transitioning out of homelessness.

Crossroads Sober Living Community is funded in large part through a grant from Washoe County Human Service Agency. Donations to Crossroads are utilized to enhance our clients’ experience, including our wellness program, alumni program and long-term sobriety efforts.

How You Can Help

For the past seven decades, we have become a safety net for thousands of people and families in need — people of all ages, backgrounds, and religions — across Northern Nevada. Our services are needed now more than ever, and we need your support as well. To donate, buy a ticket or sponsor the event, visit, or

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