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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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Catholic Community Center is people helping people

Catholic Community Center is people helping people

Gazette staff reports

Catholic Community Center, founded in May 1983 by a group of volunteers from three Catholic parishes, Sacred Heart, Cut Off; St. Joseph, Galliano; and Our Lady of Prompt Succor, Golden Meadow, held a rededication program Monday at the Center in Galliano.

The Catholic Community Center, a Catholic charities program, began operations in a small rent building on Hwy. 1, but quickly outgrew that location. In November 1983, the Center moved to its current location that was then owned by the Danos family.

In 1996, Allen and Mary Danos donated the building and property to the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux.
The Danos’ got involved in Catholic Charities after seeing a display board after mass one day of the various programs offered by the Charities.

The Danos Family, along with the Harold and Gloria Callais family, were recognized during the rededication ceremony for making special contributions to the Center.

Over 100 volunteers were active in the ministry by 1984 and governance was provided by a local board made up of three pastors and two parishioners from each church with staffing from Catholic Charities.

In 1992 Sr. Stan, who was one of the original volunteers, became the Catholic Community Center Administrator. Sr. Stan attracted many volunteers over the next 18 years simply by asking a friend to donate just one day to the Center, then it became two days, then a week and by then they were hooked!

She started the tradition of eating together on Wednesdays which volunteers continue to do so to this day.
Over the years Catholic Community Center has grown and expanded. It has become a center for providing disaster assistance following hurricanes. It has sponsored a program to help immigrants complete all of their required paperwork and once created a summer program to help with babysitting for low-income working families.

The three member churches work to assist with utility and medical bills for those who are in a financial crisis.
But the main programs remain the thrift store and food bank.

Manager Susan Terrebonne notes that: "We accept people's prayers, food items, gently used and new clothing of all types, shoes, work boots and other clothing items. And because we are a non-profit, tax-exempt organization we also gratefully accept monetary donations, which are fully tax deductible.”

In 2015, Catholic Community Center provided free food or clothing to 543 families made up of 1,550 people. Volunteers, who run CCC, also donated 8,447 hours of their time last year.

Of the families helped, 135 live in Cut Off, 153 in Galliano, 143 in Golden Meadow, 101 in Larose, and a handful in Lockport and Grand Isle. These numbers don’t include the hundreds of people who shop in the thrift store every year and pay 50 cents for an item of clothing.

The CCC is located at 9018 E. Ave. A, Galliano, and can be reached by calling 985-632-6859. Hours of operation are Mondays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon.