Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

Working Through Tragedy

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A tearful woman explained that the screams and loud noise heard by her neighbors last week was the sound of her adorableb2ap3_thumbnail_WebBurial.gif two-year-old grandson being beaten and thrown into an empty bathtub to die.  The four-year-old autistic brother who watched the scene could only scream, but not form words to express his grief.  The boyfriend of a relative who is wanted for the crime cannot be found, however, the police are looking.  Catholic Charities made the arrangements with the funeral home and the beautiful, sweet angel was laid to rest last week.  The distraught grandmother will continue to come to Catholic Charities to meet with a counselor who will help her find the strength to cope with such a tragedy.

A little later in the day I learned of another horrible tragedy.  The little two-month baby girl who was born to a crack-addicted mother didn't stand a chance in life.  I was told that her mother sold WIC vouchers to purchase items other than baby formula.  Instead, she fed the newborn whole milk.  The baby did not thrive and after a couple of weeks choked on the milk and passed away. Again, Catholic Charities stood side by side with family members to help cope with such a horrible tragedy.

However sad, it is important that we share these stories. Catholic Charities often encounters overwhelming sadness, but it is the joyful moments that help us to understand just how important it is for our work to continue.  Nothing can match the love-filled reaction when someone who has been touched by tragedy recognizes the work of God's hands in his/her life.  Small signs often bring hope back into someone's life when acts of kindness touch their hearts.  Recently a young woman dropped off a bag of brand new shoes she purchased for children who have to go without.  I know the woman worked several extra long shifts to be able to afford the shoes she donated. I know a hairdresser who saved his tips for months so that he could donate book bags to children who normally use plastic shopping bags to carry books to and from school.  I know a young birthday girl who chose to give up birthday gifts in lieu of items to donate to people in need.  No matter how devastating the circumstances that walk through the doors of Catholic Charities, it can never compare to the joy that inevitably follows as God performs His handiwork.  The grandmother of one of the children who passed away told me, "You (Catholic Charities) have reminded me of the goodness in people."

By Diane Bullard, Office Director of the Piedmont Triad Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte © 2014