Catholic Charities’ Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center serves 300-400 meals a day to those staying in local shelters and homeless encampments.
The heart and soul of what we do is feed people," said Eric Milkie, the center's program director.
Run by a collaboration of volunteers, staff and donors who share their gifts of time, talent and treasure, their services provide a basic need for survival and oftentimes direction for a fresh start.
The center is hoping to raise $5,000 to purchase a new convection oven for its hot meal program. The day drop-in center, located in downtown Cleveland on the corner of Superior Avenue and East 18th Street, offers an array of emergency services for the homeless and disenfranchised, including a pantry program, a clothing closet and daily hot breakfasts and lunches.
"For the people that come in, this is usually their only meal. Without the convection oven it really hurts us,” Milkie said. "We have Thanksgiving and Christmas meals coming up, along with our daily people who come in, and we need funding support.”
Catholic Charities is hopeful that the spirit of giving will be alive on its #weGiveCatholic webpage come Dec. 3. The page helps the organization to educate potential donors about multiple ways to help the homeless. For example, support at the $25 level will feed 25 men, women or children a hearty, healthy meal. Donations at the $50 level will help with the purchase of the new oven and at the $100 level, donations will help the Cosgrove van that makes daily trips to food banks. The 2001 van is in need of repairs.
“So whether it's big or small, we appreciate any donations we can get," Milkie said.
To learn more about how holiday meals are prepped, view the condition of the van or convection oven, watch a #weGiveCatholic video from the Bishop Cosgrove Center. Visit weGiveCatholic.org to donate to the organization or any of the other 228 participating Catholic schools, parishes, Catholic Charities sites and programs and Catholic nonprofits.