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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

070717 ccdocWINSTON-SALEM — Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte has provided charitable outreach to the poor, vulnerable and others in need throughout western North Carolina for decades. On June 29, the agency celebrated another milestone as it moved into a larger facility to better serve the Piedmont-Triad region.

The 10,000-square-foot facility, located at 1612 14th St. N.E. in Winston-Salem, replaces the Piedmont-Triad regional office located at 627 W. 2nd St. in Winston-Salem.

“Offering services from two converted houses and a garage (for our food pantry) has always presented a challenge for our staff and clients,” noted Dr. Gerard Carter, executive director of Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte, about the former office location. “For that reason, we are excited to be moving to our new service facility. This site is only 2.4 miles away from our current location and sits contiguous with the property owned by St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church.”

The renovated building affords Catholic Charities the opportunity to gather all of its regional staff under one roof, offers service participants a larger waiting room, creates ample space for expanded services, and provides more convenient parking, Carter said.

The Piedmont-Triad regional office employs 12 staff members with assistance from more than 70 volunteers. They operate a food pantry, provide family and individual counseling, offer teen pregnancy and parenting support services, oversee the Stay the Course program that supports community college students, provide interpretation and language services, and much more. The location also houses the WeeCare Shoppe, which provides free clothing to children in need.

The new facility stands on the property that once housed St. Anne’s Academy, a Catholic school built and run by the Sisters of St. Francis of Allegany, N.Y., to serve the neighborhood’s African-American community. Raleigh Bishop Vincent S. Waters dedicated the academy, convent and dormitories in September 1946.

“Catholic Charities is thankful to the Diocese of Charlotte for purchasing and renovating the building, and their support during the transition,” said Becky DuBois, acting office director in Winston-Salem.

She added, “We are grateful to our donors and supporters for their dedication and ongoing commitment to the mission and work of Catholic Charities from this new location.”

Last year, DuBois noted, the Piedmont-Triad regional office served approximately 5,000 people.

“We do anticipate helping more people (going forward),” she said. “Although our previous office was located in a residential neighborhood, our new location is in the midst of a neighborhood consisting of many more families. We have already experienced an increase of new people from the neighborhood coming to the food pantry and for baby clothes.”

DuBois thanked the many volunteers who spent countless hours helping her pack up at the old office, move things to the new building and unpack and settle into the new space.

“We are honored to be new residents in this historic neighborhood in Winston-Salem,” she said.

Volunteer Diane Stanley shared her thoughts on serving at the new facility. “As the saying goes, ‘To those to whom a lot has been given, a lot is expected.’ I have been blessed and have a need to give back. I feel like I have gained more than I have given from my time at Catholic Charities.”

Monsignor Mauricio West, vicar general and chancellor of the diocese, blessed the new facility June 29. Following the blessing, guests were invited to tour the building and enjoy refreshments. Staff and volunteers shared information about the agency’s services during the tours.

“Guests commented on how beautiful the building is, and community collaborators and partners spoke with staff about opportunities for joint endeavors,” DuBois said. “With the large multi-purpose room and the large conference room, Catholic Charities is in a position to host group meetings and events.”

“The overall feeling was one of joy and celebration,” she noted.

Said Carter, “We are deeply grateful to all of our benefactors and colleagues in various diocesan offices that supported us through the process of securing, renovating and eventually relocating into this wonderful new facility.
“We see many blessings coming to so many people as a result of this move.”

— SueAnn Howell, Senior reporter

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