Respect Life Month —
Finding ‘respect’ in life’s journey

By SUSAN SMITH
Special to The Record

Robin Gains said she was “scared beyond measure” when she found out she was pregnant with twins. She had been pregnant before, but this would be her first pregnancy sober.

Jonas and Mosaka Allege had a family of eight living in one house and “there was never enough food for everyone.”

Max Peterson “was embarrassed” because he had never needed help with anything until he lost his job in the pandemic and couldn’t pay his bills.

Four different people, three different stories, one thing in common: They all went to Catholic Charities of Louisville for help.

Catholic Charities’ mission is to serve people in need, especially the poor and oppressed. And even though the word “respect” isn’t in that mission statement, it is the core of everything the agency does, according to Chief Executive Officer Lisa DeJaco Crutcher.

“We’re dedicated to walking alongside people on their journey from struggle to self-sufficiency,” she said. “We build relationships with those we serve because we see them as individuals. We respect them. We don’t work on cases; we walk with people.”

Rene Maxwell, who grew up poor in Portland and received food, financial help, and clothing from Sister Visitor Center, said the respect she found there as a child turned her life around. “I felt special and seen, and that’s not something you get a lot when you’re a kid from Portland in shambles.” Today Rene lives with her husband and children in New York and is a monthly contributor to Sister Visitor Center.

Robin Gains had her twins in January and they’re thriving with Robin, her husband, and children. Jonas and Mosaka visit our Father Jack Jones Food Pantry as often as they need. And Max Peterson found a new job and returned to make a donation.

“And we respect that,” DeJaco Crutcher said.

Susan Smith is the communications and grants coordinator for Catholic Charities of Louisville.

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