Serving God’s People
Catholic Charities is blessed to have the support of donors throughout the Diocese whose commitment to charity runs deep. For donors and volunteers like Juanita Pedrozo, giving to Catholic Charities means many things, including a closer relationship with God and her community.
“My first impression was that of how very hard those associated with Catholic Charities worked for those in great need. That they work to serve God’s people with love and commitment.”
Juanita first became involved with Catholic Charities when her children attended school at Our Lady of Mercy in Merced. Valuing the importance of giving to those who have less, Catholic Charities gave her family the opportunity to give back.
“My parents gave me the foundation of my Catholic faith. They taught me the importance of serving. They were my first examples of unconditional love, commitment to their faith and to the communities that they lived in.”
Today, Juanita’s involvement with Catholic Charities includes organizing food drives, countless hours on the Catholic Charities of Merced Guild which puts on the annual Harvest of Hope fundraiser, financial support and advocacy throughout the community for the organization and all that it does for those in need.
As part of Juanita’s advocacy and service efforts, she was part of the Lancers 4-H community service project — which accounts for one of her fondest memories since being involved with nonprofit. The 4-H group would spend their afternoons packing sack lunches to donate and even decorating the brown bags with messages of love and support to those who would receive their gifts of love.
“They are very special young people and feel that what they are doing is very important. They serve through putting over 100 lunches together and know how important it is to pack them with great care. My memories are that of children learning the importance of serving the community that they live in and how important it is to give back.”
When asked what she would say to others considering getting involved, Juanita encourages others to remember that we can give to our community through many ways.
“People are not aware of all that Catholic Charities does and how much more they would be able to do with more assistance. I know that our community has so much to give but not everyone has enough time to meet all the needs. Merced has many wonderful and generous people who serve God’s people selflessly and Catholic Charities gives us the opportunity to do just that. I see all the good that they do and know how much more we can do together.”