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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY AND Gonzaga Prep partner with CATHOLIC CHARITIES EASTERN WASHINGTON
As spring draws near, Catholic Charities Eastern Washington joins the rest of the Spokane region in cheering for Gonzaga University’s annual NCAA tournament run. For Catholic Charities, it’s easy to get excited for the Bulldogs because they are such a strong partner — a teammate, even — in bringing dignity and hope to the vulnerable. For decades, Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Preparatory School have stood with us in our shared mission of service to the Eastern Washington community.
It is only natural that Gonzaga University’s partnership starts close to the court. The university’s athletic department holds annual donation drives that support Catholic Charities and mobilize thousands of donors. Donation nights have yielded hundreds of pounds of canned goods that support food closets at our senior apartment buildings and family shelters.
Last year, fans at one women’s basketball game donated a month’s supply of diapers for our CAPA program! That meant parents of young kids living in poverty had a reliable emergency supply of diapers.
At Catholic Charities, we are truly blessed to enjoy a partnership not just with Gonzaga University, but also with Gonzaga Preparatory School. Throughout the year, Prep instills the Catholic values of service and solidarity by bringing students to support Catholic Charities programs. We’re grateful for the classes, clubs, and athletic teams that come to develop hearts for service at our programs.
In particular, the Prep Plunge each summer and the Faculty Service Days mean we can count on big doses of volunteering. The students and teachers help at our shelters, maintain the grounds at our buildings, and clean and organize at our programs. Taken together, each Prep community member’s small act of service means that we can assist more clients with high-quality help in environments that are dignified.
This year, we’re especially excited about bringing these partners together on one long-term initiative, Gonzaga Family Haven. The families in this Northeast Spokane apartment building will be new graduates from Rising Strong, our intensive program that helps families recover from addiction, heal from trauma, and rebuild their lives. Catholic Charities Eastern Washington will provide onsite support to help them build stable family lives. But the key to helping these families build bright futures will be our Gonzaga partners. Gonzaga Preparatory School and Gonzaga University students will come alongside these families, building relationships that transform the clients, the students, and the future of our Spokane community for the better.
Thank you to our Gonzaga University and Gonzaga Prep partners....and go Zags!