November is National Adoption Month

Dear Friends,

As the holiday season approaches, we are reminded that the gift of family is at the top of my personal list of blessings.  Here at Catholic Charities, our Adoption and Specialized Foster Care Programs are designed to match loving families with children in need of a loving home.

To accomplish this important goal, we need the help of people like you, and because of that we are asking you to please consider a gift to help provide the opportunity for children to grow and thrive in the security of a family’s love.

Here is just one example how your donation does just that:

At seven years old, Alex entered foster care after her birth parents were unable to successfully meet their goals and subsequently had their legal rights terminated. Alex struggled with anger and social skills and was often moved from one foster home to the next. She demonstrated distrust for adults, stemming from feelings of being rejected, but was still a kind and bright child who loved art and playing outside. She just needed adults who could be there for her and help her manage her anger.

John and Maria learned of Alex through a friend and knew they wanted to be Alex’s forever family. The couple contacted Catholic Charities to assist them through the process of becoming certified foster and adoptive parents. Catholic Charities worked with the local Children and Youth Services office to place Alex with John and Maria.  The couple recognized the impact on a young child from moving between multiple homes and knew it would require time and commitment. Catholic Charities supported John and Maria whenever they needed and staff helped the couple secure additional support services for Alex.

Alex acted out, was destructive and struggled with relationships, but over time, her behaviors improved as she felt not only accepted, but comfortable in her new home. A year and half later, John and Maria officially adopted Alex. For them, Alex was already a part of their family. They felt that working with Catholic Charities and getting support services for Alex improved their family as a whole. Alex will continue to have some struggles, but overall she is doing well. She continues to love art and do well in school, and she enjoys family outings. When asked about their adoption experience, John and Maria note “Having Alex taught us all how to listen better and have an open heart.”

This is just one example of the work we do every day in our Adoption and Specialized Foster Care Programs.  Our Specialized Foster Care Program places children who have been separated from their families by the court system into loving homes.  Often times, adoption is an appropriate course, and Catholic Charities assists many foster parents in adopting their children and providing a permanent caring environment.  In addition, our Adoption Program matches interested families with a child or group of siblings engaged with the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN).  We also provide many services for children awaiting permanency through the SWAN network.

This type of work is expensive, and we need your help.  Many agencies offer adoption and foster care services, but Catholic Charities provides help and creates hope for all individuals (of all faiths) regardless of their financial situation.  In addition, the revenue we receive for our work does not match the cost of the services we provide.  In order to continue our services, we rely heavily on the generosity of people like you who understand and appreciate the importance of these efforts.

There are thousands of boys and girls who want one thing more than anything else – a family.  Money should not be the reason children can’t find loving parents.  If we had the resources we need, we could bring more children and families together.

Won’t you please help?

November is National Adoption Month, a time to raise awareness and generate support for programs like Catholic Charities that bring adoptive children and families together.  This month, please consider a gift of $500, $250, $100, or whatever you can to help support our important work.  Your donation will be used to provide the resources we need to help build permanent, caring families in our region.

Your gift, regardless of the amount, will make a difference.  And you can take pride knowing that you are a part of something truly special.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and your support.

To make your gift online via our secured server, visit Adoption Month Online Donation Form

To lear more about our Adoption and Specialized Foster Care Program, visit Adoption and Foster Care Webpage


Imagine your dream student - someone who is bright, inquisitive, kind to others, and comes to class eager to learn. Well, that is Koffi. He first came to my ESL class in May of 2014. He had only been in the United States for about 6 months at that time.

For many people, those first 6 months can be overwhelming and hectic, but Koffi’s spirit is indomitable. He came to class every night ready to learn and in a short time he found a job. Even after a long day of working hard, Koffi would come into class with a smile on his face. He greeted his fellow students with a smile and was ready to learn.

After being in the country for a little over a year, Koffi decided he would like to become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). He took the initiative and researched his options before deciding on the program at HACC.
Koffi continued with his English studies right up to the time his CNA class started at HACC. I was sorry to see him leave, but so happy for him.

In June of this year Koffi graduated from the CNA Program at HACC. We are all so proud of Koffi. He has been such a positive influence on all of us, staff and students alike. It is impossible to look at Koffi’s smiling face and not want to smile right back, he is that full of kindness and hope. I am so glad he was my student and I feel certain that he will do even more amazing things in the future.

- ESL Instructor

Tiffany starts her story by openly stating that the first 39 years of her life were a waste. She spent all of her time drinking, which was her way of coping with the many let downs in her life.

Fearing for her life, a friend convinced Tiffany to check herself into a 30-day detox program. Upon completion she entered the Evergreen House program. While this was not her first choice, Tiffany ended up residing at Evergreen House for seven and one-half months.

Tiffany credits Evergreen’s staff and their patience with her eventual success in the program. Evergreen’s staff understood what she was going through and eventually became like her family. The Evergreen House program provided the structure and support she needed to maintain her sobriety.

Tiffany credits Evergreen House for a second chance at life and she is determined to have a positive impact on others.

- anonymous

Catholic Charities Adoption Services and Specialized Foster Care not only provides foster care and adoption services, but it also helps adoptees and their birth families to connect with one other through Search services. Nearly 50 years ago, Tina was an accomplished athlete who found herself pregnant while pursuing an advanced degree. With housing and supportive services from Catholic Charities, Tina made the difficult decision to place her daughter for adoption. Following the adoption, Tina pursued her career as an athlete, coach, and business administrator. While she was confident that she had made the right decision, Tina constantly thought about the daughter she had placed for adoption and wondered about her well-being. She eventually made attempts to find her daughter through various sources and by updating her online information in the event that her only child might someday want to meet her. After several years, Tina had come to the conclusion that meeting her daughter was just not meant to be.
This past year, Tina’s daughter, Beth, contacted Catholic Charities with a request for information about her birth parents. After talking with Beth and encouraging her to pursue the search, Catholic Charities was able to connect Beth with her birth mother. The two later traveled to meet each other, and Tina was given the opportunity to meet Beth’s husband and daughters. Tina was thrilled to learn that she was a grandmother, but she was most happy to hear that her daughter had loving adoptive parents who had given her a good life. Tina later wrote to Catholic Charities that “I think someone did a lot of praying and the prayers were answered.”

- Anonymous

A native of Puerto Rico, Maria* moved to Harrisburg with the dream of building a bright future for herself and her baby. While working to gain her bearing, Maria was kicked out of the house in which she had been staying, rendering Maria and her son homeless. Maria had very few options, as she had not yet secured a job, childcare, or private housing. In March 2017, Maria and her two year old son were welcomed into the Interfaith Shelter.
Upon entering the Interfaith Shelter, Maria immediately began building the skills needed to obtain self-sufficiency. The first challenge to overcome was Maria’s limited English proficiency. Determined to improve her English, Maria enrolled in ESL classes at the Tri-County Adult Learning Center, and she began practicing her growing language skills with residents and staff at the shelter. Maria also enrolled in a workforce development program offered through the PA Department of Human Services, working to develop marketable skills and gain permanent employment. Although many of the area’s transitional housing programs were completely full and had long wait lists, Maria eagerly applied to the YWCA Transitional Housing program. She knew that, with determination and hard work, she could build a better life for her family.
As she was nearing the end of her stay with the Interfaith Shelter, Maria was accepted into the YWCA Transitional Housing program and was assured that a room would soon be available. In order to keep Maria on the path towards success, the Interfaith Shelter granted Maria an extension until she was able to move into the YWCA. During her stay at Interfaith, Maria successfully obtained childcare, enrolled in a cash assistance program, improved her English proficiency, and began developing employment skills leading to a new job. Maria has served as an inspiration to others at the shelter that any barrier can be overcome.

- Anonymous
Council on Accrediation Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations United Way

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