Spring is a busy time in Syracuse and there are many events taking place in the city this weekend. Most of these events are community-minded ones. There is one, however, a march intended to intimidate our Muslim brothers and sisters, that runs in direct opposition to our core values as an organization and as members of this community. We stand with our partners at InterFaith Works in choosing, in the face of such negativity, to celebrate our diverse city and its residents.
At Catholic Charities of Onondaga County, we are dedicated to serving anyone in need regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or any other consideration. Every day, we provide services for hundreds of people around Syracuse. Over the course of a year, we serve about 20,000 people.
These 20,000 individuals in Syracuse represent a wide range of people with different backgrounds and needs. Many of them have very little in common with each other apart from the fact that they are in need and Catholic Charities of Onondaga County is where they turn. We have dozens of programs to provide assistance. We support people as they stabilize their lives and build their capacity for independence. These programs include counseling, parenting classes, Pre-K programs, youth programs, services for the elderly, homeless shelters, refugee services, housing support for veterans, workforce development, and much more.
Some of the groups we serve are highlighted at different times of the year. On June 20th, we will join the community again in supporting our refugee neighbors for World Refugee Day. In November we will take part in Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week. In September we join many agencies in the United Way Campaign to support human service programs throughout the region.
Throughout all of these, every day, we dedicate ourselves to serving the most vulnerable among us and we thank our supporters and community partners who make our work possible. There are many opportunities to live our values of tolerance and acceptance this weekend: our refugee youth volunteers are organizing Syracuse United to celebrate diversity, InterFaith Works is holding their Duck Race to End Racism, and Grace Episcopal is holding a solidarity event, among others. These positive events reflect the best of Syracuse, and make us proud to be part of this community.