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St. Gertrude of Nivelles | The CSS community garden:
Looking for the "little way to serve"

by Veronica Pino
St. Gianna Program Manager 
Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

One of our most recent endeavors at St. Gianna Women’s Home has been guiding three of our mothers as they seek to get their children baptized.

In many ways, it’s been an exciting experience, as we do what we can to help these families so that their little ones can enter the Catholic Church. What heartwarming moments we had as each mother approached one of our staff members expressing her desire to baptize her children. And what joy to think of seven children receiving the sacrament of Baptism!

Southern Nebraska Register 

Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) reported to police Feb. 8 the vandalism of a statue that stood at the front of its building near 23rd and O streets in Lincoln.

by John McDonald
Hastings Regional Director, Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

This time of year, I find myself dusting off my suits in preparation for various events, such as weddings, liturgies and banquets. This year is heavy on banquets and professional events, such as the upcoming Catholic Social Services Celebration of Hope banquet (April 25) and Give Hastings Day (April 2). Most recently, the Catholic Social Services team attended the Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting in which Hastings CSS received the Business of the Year - Nonprofit Award.

Sandra’s face is the first one many of our clients see at CSS; She, in turn, sees the face of Christ in every neighbor who comes to us for help. As a point of first contact, CSS Lincoln Office Manager Sandra Svajdlenka greets our agency's clients, discerns their needs, and connects them with resources. And, in one very blessed instance, she became a Godmother, too. In this podcast, Sandra shares several powerful stories of the hope she brings to people, the hope she gets in return from those she serves, and how we can work together to inspire hope and love in every encounter.

Southern Nebraska Register, CSS

At the Hastings Chamber of Commerce annual meeting, Hastings Catholic Social Services (Hastings CSS) was named the Business of the Year in the Non-Profit category.

The award honors a nonprofit organization that has shown exemplary achievement in Hastings and the surrounding area in the recent years. CSS was among just over a half-dozen businesses and individual award winners at the meeting attended by more than 300 community members.

By Marilu Cazares
Family Support Services Program Manager,
Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

Are you the type of person who considers giving up your favorite food for Lent every year? If so, you are not alone. I have done that many times. However, Lent is coming, and I have been thinking about what I can do differently this year because I am so grateful for all the blessings that God has given me and my family. What can I do to please our Lord in a different way this year? 

Veronica Barreto of KLKN Channel 8 News connected with CSS Refugee Resettlement Manager Poe Dee to discuss the anticipated increased influx of refugees in 2024 and how viewers can help welcome them to our community.

People shopped in a big room in Lincoln’s Catholic Social Services building. The aisles of rice, yogurt and baby food are reminiscent of a grocery store. The food and supplies set up in this room and the one neighboring it are meant for refugees coming to Nebraska. Refugee Resettlement Director Poe stood in the room with the shoppers.
“I was a refugee myself and kind of know the process about like, resettlement,” he said.

by Brad Brestel
Interim Manager, Immigration Legal Services
Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

I have lived my entire life in Lincoln. I went to public schools, the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Law School, all in Lincoln. I was baptized in a Methodist church when I was born, and I was baptized again at First Baptist Church when my family attended there.

I grew up surrounded by friends from the Baptist church. We all studied the Bible and learned lots of information about our Christian faith. I am thankful for the mountain of Bible knowledge the Baptist culture afforded me.

Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS, www.csshope.org) invites you to an evening of fellowship and Hope in the Good Life!

Catholic Social Services Hastings was honored to be named the "2023 Non-Profit of the Year" at the 2024 Chamber Annual Awards Banquet on Wednesday, January 31st, 2024. This video produced by the Hastings Chamber of Commerce shares the crucial work CSS Hastings performs in south central Nebraska to bring HOPE IN THE GOOD LIFE to neighbors needing a hand-up. Our efforts are possible thanks to our staff, volunteers, and supporters. THANK YOU!

How does a wife and a mother of nine kids find time to even think about volunteering and making a difference in the lives of others? Emily Villa tells us how in this uplifting and tearful witness to the power of finding beauty, dignity, and even fun in the little things that can make a big difference in the lives of others. Emily and her husband Mike and family will be honored at the CSS Celebration of Hope dinner February 25 as recipients of the Heart of Christ Award. Emily tells us how she learned that when serving others, she’s also being served by God.

by Katie Patrick

As we enter a new year, filled with hope and opportunities to continue making a difference in the lives of those around us, we are excited to extend to you an invitation to our annual event, Celebration of Hope, taking place Feb. 25 at the Embassy Suites in Lincoln.

The Heart of Christ Award | The Villa Family:
Looking for the "little way to serve"

By Mark Main
Store Manager at St. Louise Gift & Thrift in Lincoln,
Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

One of the biggest lies in modern society is that a person is solely in charge of his or her own destiny. I once believed that statement.

Don’t get me wrong, I became very successful and achieved many of my goals. If someone told me that I couldn’t do something, I did everything I could to prove those people wrong. If I set my mind to it, I could achieve it. The problem was I didn’t realize that God was helping me accomplish these goals all along.

By John McDermott
Vice President, Marketing & Development
Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

There are some days in your life that you just never forget. For me, Jan. 2, 1996, is one of those days. Not only was that my first day working at Catholic Social Services, but later that night, you Husker fans will remember, Nebraska put a 62-24 beatdown on the Florida Gators for Coach Osborne’s second consecutive national championship. Ah, the good old days!

Happy National Soup Month! It's hard to beat a warm bowl of soup for supper on a cold winter night. During January, our CSS Lincoln Food Market shoppers will enjoy a bonus basket filled with the ingredients for this delicious soup. Enjoy a bowl yourself and chase away the chill!

On December 10, 2023, area choirs gathered for the annual Carole Fest, a benefit for the St. Gianna Program of Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska.

Our latest Patron newsletter shares stories from across 24,000 square miles of southern Nebraska!

by Katie Patrick

About four years ago, my husband and I accompanied a young woman, “Rose,” to the custody exchange site in Lincoln so that she could safely connect with her ex-husband to exchange the kids for the weekend. The custody exchange location in Lincoln is near the Lincoln Police Department on 27th Street and provides families the opportunity to meet publicly, in a monitored place. There were a few other cars and families coming and going while we waited.

Thanks to connections and collaboration, CSS helped a family get back on the road to "Hope in the good life."

Our agency offices and Gift & Thrift stores have a special Christmas season schedule to allow staff and volunteers time with their loved ones during this special time of the year. We wish you all a blessed time filled with Hope in the Good Life!

by John Haag,
Lincoln Warehouse Manager,
Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

The number 81—keep that in mind for a bit.

You are probably wondering where this is going, and will it require me to dust off my math skills? Together, we will dip our toes into one of the program areas of Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS), and no math skills are required!

St. Gianna Program Manager Veronica Hotovy talks about how we all need to be surrounded by a little love in order to find hope now and in the future. That's what the St. Gianna Program (SGP) does for women escaping domestic violence. To help support that program, Carole Fest will take place on December 10th to raise funds for this vital program. Veronica tells us why it's important to support SGP and how it nurtures "Hope in the Good Life."

After nearly 25 years of working at Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska, Bill Meduna, vice president of operations, has retired. We celebrated his retirement on Friday, Nov. 3, with nearly 50 staff members and most of his immediate family in attendance.

By Corbin Hubbell
Social Media Coordinator

Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) recently extended a helping hand by distributing Thanksgiving food baskets to those in need.

The collective initiative unfolded across the Auburn, Hastings, and Lincoln CSS locations.

Our latest issue of the Patron quarterly newsletter shares our latest HOPE IN THE GOOD LIFE updates!

He's been a "bean counter" for Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) for 24 years, and he's still amazed at what those beans have done for CSS. Bill Meduna talks about his time with CSS as Vice President of Operations, and why this agency is such a great place to work.

November 15th was the 2023 Lincoln Littles' Childcare Teachers Foundation Class Graduation, and our very own CSS childcare director, Elaine Simpson, graduated along with 18 other childcare teachers!

Food banks in 16 towns in south central Nebraska rely on Catholic Social Services for deliveries. That food is then distributed to community members in need.

After nearly three years of planning and construction, our newly renovated and expanded headquarters in Lincoln is open for business!

CSS Lincoln and CSS Auburn is here to help this holiday season.

Over one hundred members of Lincoln's Ukrainian community gathered at the House of Prayer on Friday, October 20th, to show their appreciation and gratitude to local politicians and community leaders who had profound impacts on the refugee community. Our CSS Refugee Resettlement Services team attended and was honored to receive recognition for their work in the community.

During this Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I wanted to share my story to help honor and raise awareness for those babies who were born sleeping, those who were carried but never met, those who were held but did not go home, and the ones who came home but could not stay.

By Corbin Hubbell 
Social Media Coordinator 

Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) marked a milestone on their journey of service Oct. 14.

The CSS headquarters in Lincoln opened its doors for an open house and tour, marking the completion of an expansion and renovation project aimed at addressing the increasing needs from the community.

Katie Patrick, executive director of CSS since 2021, explained the driving force behind this project.

Southern Nebraska Register
Catholic Social Services

Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS), headquartered in Lincoln, won a 2023 Sustainability Award by the Keep Nebraska Beautiful organization.

After a two-year renovation, Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska is excited to show off its new space during an open house Saturday (10/14).
The $3.5 million redevelopment and expansion includes a revamped waiting room with a new entryway and café space, a larger multi-purpose room for various classes and community events, and a chapel.

"Every year for the past eight years, Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska, in partnership with the Knights of Columbus, has hosted the annual “Coats for Kids” community event. Together, we distribute hundreds of coats to children who would otherwise be left in the cold or wearing donated, worn coats that don't quite fit. This year’s event was particularly special as it took place in our newly designed building, tailored for events just like this one!"

For over 30 years. Catholic Social Services Hastings has prioritized sustainability in its actions and practices. In the past year, this was accomplished through wise use of donated items, an innovative food recovery, and by helping families create sustainable lifestyles.
Our 2023 Bountiful Harvest Impact report shares some of the many ways CSS Hastings, thanks to community partners &over 10,000 volunteer hours, made a sustainable Hope in the Good Life difference in southcentral Nebraska.

The public is invited to an open house and tour of the Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska (CSS) headquarters in Lincoln, to celebrate the completion of a major expansion and renovation project.

© 2024 Catholic Social Services of Southern Nebraska

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