Why I Give
My family has been a part of the CFJ community since the summer of 2012 when our daughter participated in JusticeworX for the first time. We were all a little apprehensive but by the weeks end, we realized what an amazing program it was! Our Catherine was alive in the spirit and ready to change the world. She was talking about how many of our problems were “1st world problems” and wanted to take action locally to impact the world globally. She seemed to have a new understanding of what Catholic Social teaching calls us to do. It was so exciting to see her faith bubbling out of her!
Every summer she continued to participate, all through her 4 years of HS. CFJ opened her mind and her heart to those less fortunate then her and as we began to witness, created a mindset of Faith and Justice being integrally connected.
CFJ gave us the opportunity to take what we were teaching at home and what she was learning in her parochial schools and put them to action. During College Catherine was involved in LeaderworX and now as a recent college grad, is enjoying a fellowship year with CFJ working in the NeXtLevel program.
By contributing to the Magdalene Circle, I know that my small share is helping to fund programs to help other youth experience these wonderful programs. It also gives me the opportunity to be a part of a faith community of women with shared values and beliefs.
Rocky Balsamo has been part of the Center’s work since our inception and his passion for and support of our mission endures to this day. Rocky helped facilitate Catholic volunteer experiences for youth and young adults for years before playing an active role in our founding Board of Trustees. Since then, Rocky has served numerous roles with us – Board Chair and Member, volunteer Executive Director, crew chief, chaperone, handyman, advocate, fundraiser, and donor. He is absolutely tireless in helping us to advance our mission of inspiring the next generation of servant leaders.
“After my father passed away, it was our Catholic community that kept us from falling off the grid. They weren’t moved to help us from a place of pity; it was all about their faith. With their support, Mom continued to raise us with next to nothing and yet, she was – and is – the most generous person I know. Her example has always inspired me to stretch myself sacrificially to give to things that matter. I believe the Center’s programs are so important because they connect young people to the realness of our faith – not just because the students have a nice service experience and can pat themselves on the back. But more importantly, because we demonstrate to them that poverty is real, it has a name, and that they can do something about it. We provoke these kids to take action.“