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Catholic Charities sends mobile response center on final day of WorkCamp

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The last day of WorkCamp 2019 saw more than 800 campers rise early to clean and collect their things before a day of goodbyes. After Mass, celebrated by Father William Nyce, parochial vicar at St. Philip Church in Falls Church, campers gathered in the auditorium for the morning program to enjoy music and share how they had changed during the past week. 

Camper Athena White, from St. Jude Church in Fredericksburg, shared how she did not want to come to WorkCamp before but was very thankful she did. 

Instead of going to their worksites, the campers invited people they had been helping all week to join them for lunch at King George High School. Chris and Christy Lumley attended the lunch with their grandaughters Lyla and Lilly Zacharias. As parishioners at St. William of York, they helped with WorkCamp last year. Christy was a crew leader and Chris worked security. This year a crew helped them by putting in a tile floor and a new front entrance door.

"It was amazing. These kids are amazing. I will never forget them," said Chisty. "They are a great example of God's love."

For the first time, Catholic Charities teamed up with WorkCamp by sending its mobile response center to the high school June 28. The Catholic Charities team talked with residents after lunch and provided them with nonfood household items such as cleaning supplies, feminine products and toilet paper. Thanks to the mobile response center team, Catholic Charities staff let the residents know about other services they provide throughout the year such as counseling, transportation services, and assistance with rent and utility bills.

“During WorkCamp our goal is to make their homes warmer, safer and dryer but we get to know the residents so well we recognize needs that aren’t being met,” said Assistant WorkCamp Coordinator Jamie Chichester. “Our goal with Catholic Charities is to connect them with services that will get them back on their feet.”

The Catholic Charities mobile response team met with more than 30 residents who were able to choose two items from a list of home goods. 

“We always run out of laundry detergent first,” said Catherine Hassinger, director of community services. “We also get lots of requests for adult underwear and diapers. We are delighted to be here to share our services and work with the residents. I love the Gospel call to serve and working with Catholic Charities shows me how to live out that call.”

Kassock is a freelancer from Stafford.

 

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© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019