DE PERE, WI (WFRV) – It was a packed banquet hall for the annual Inspired to Act Gala for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay.
Although many associate Catholic Charities with providing food and shelter to families. It’s actually been involved with mental health counseling for three decades.
“We pray on it, but we also take action,” explained Director Karmen Lemke. “We do that through spiritual, physical, and emotional healing. That’s what we’re here for.”
Recently Catholic Charities expanded its services to rural communities. It opened a Telehealth partnership at the Lakes Country Library in Lakewood, WI where people in need of counseling but with no access to Wi-Fi or the internet can have a private area to reach out to a medical professional.
American singer/songwriter and actress Franki Moscato left the supporters in the audience thunderstruck at the sold-out gala at the Marq in De Pere with her message of fighting teen suicide.
The Catholic Foundation, one of the event’s Founding Sponsors, also provided a $5,000 match for the second year in a row. Plus, two generous donors stepped forward with another $5,000 to provide a total of a $10,000 match for any gifts.
That inspired many to make their own donations. The on-stage portion of the event hosted by Local 5’s Michele McCormack and Deacon Peter Gard, board member of Catholic Charities, garnered some $32,000. Donations through online auction items were still being counted as of the time of this post. Estimates are as much as $125,000 was raised to continue the mission.
In addition to mental health counseling, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay also provides financial health education, adoption, and family services, living justice advocacy, refugee and immigration services, social ministry, and community outreach.