Bridging the Gap to Build and Sustain Parish Relationships | Business

5B Tuesday, Oct.

Bridging the Gap to Build and Sustain
Parish Relationships
Diane Bullard, Regional Office Director
Eniris Riddick, Coordinator Direct Assistance

Bridging the Gap to Build and
Sustain Parish Relationships
Parish Outreach Days
Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.
Parish Outreach Day
A Parish Outreach Day is an event
coordinated by Catholic Charities at a
parish that is typically located in a rural
setting. At these locations, community
resources are limited and distance has a
history of interfering with utilization of
agency services.

Why host a Parish Outreach Day?
 Ignites a relationship between Catholic Charities and the parish
 Provides services for a community with limited resources
 Allows parishes to realize their ability to help people in need
 Encourages a deeper connection between the parish and
people in need
 Allows for the development of collaborations and services in
the future

How does the agency benefit from
Parish Outreach Days?
 Connects people with agency services
 Provides the foundation for future collaborations
 Challenges staff to think outside the box
 Quality services can have a profound impact when offered in non-
traditional settings using non-traditional methods
 Offers an opportunity for a meaningful relationship between
parishes and parishioners
 Encourages the agency to connect service to faith

How are Parish Outreach Days organized?
 Target parishes/communities and begin the communication process. Be
sure to listen to recommendations from parish staff
 Train staff to offer traditional services in non-traditional settings –
encourage creativity!
 Identify and contact people who could benefit from services
 Secure collaborative partners – both community partners and
diocesan/agency partners
 Prepare: identify necessary equipment, assign responsibilities, shop, pack,
and develop a community resource book
 Confirm all plans with all players shortly before the big event day
 Hit the road!

Who does what?

 Coordinating all services
 Screening clients
 Assigning staff
 Coordinating community partners
 Supplying food and toys for
waiting area
 Financial assistance materials &
 Delivering quality service
 Connecting the agency with
families in need
 Appropriate meeting space
 Assisting with identification of
possible community partners
 Assigning one staff or parish
volunteer as liaison to the project

 Parish staff in rural communities are hard to reach
 Some parishes are not motivated until AFTER they see people
 Transportation for clients is difficult; oftentimes no bus system
or cab company to rely upon
 WIFI – Count on using “old school” methods

Success Means...

•The agency is able to help a lot of people in extreme need
•Parishes want to collaborate with Catholic Charities on future projects
•Establishes relationships with new community partners
•Establishes new relationships with parish staff
•Parishioners are more aware of agency services and more connected
to the mission of the agency
•Some parishes are inspired to connect the event to opportunities for PSM
and the fulfillment of the mandate of their faith
•Staff feel inspired because they are able to help in a new way
•People who received help have a deeper relationship with their parish
Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

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