When Debbie Rambo announced her intention to retire, the board of directors engaged a search firm to assist them in identifying the next president for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston (CCAB). The selection of the next president is one of the most critical decisions a board can make. As a result, we view this responsibility very seriously and are conducting a very thoughtful, rigorous and disciplined process to find the right person to lead CCAB as we look to the future. As we continue the search process, the board asked me to step in as interim president on Dec. 1 as Debbie officially retired. I will remain as chair of the board, as well.
I want to thank Debbie Rambo for her tireless commitment to CCAB and for being a force for change in our community. She has led by example and we extend our immense gratitude and best wishes to her as she concludes more than 40 years contributing to the success of Catholic Charities.
For the past six years, I have served on the board of Catholic Charities because I strongly believe in our mission, which, guided by the moral and social teachings of the Catholic Church, is to build a just and compassionate society rooted in the dignity of all people. I believe that Catholic Charities, among many things, functions as the safety net for those most in need in society, and because of the commitment, dedication and exceptional work by everyone at Catholic Charities, we have a significant positive impact on the people and the communities we serve every day.
December is always a busy but fruitful month, and as we approach the end of the calendar year, we concluded two very successful annual fundraising events -- the Laboure Christmas House Tour and the Catholic Charities Christmas Gala. Proceeds from the Laboure House Tour support local programs in South Boston and Mayor Walsh joined us on the last day of the tour to help us promote "Snow Angels," a volunteer program where the Catholic Charities Laboure Center organizes volunteers to help with snow removal for elders in South Boston.
At our 2019 Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Gala we honored the Massachusetts State Council of the Knights of Columbus, an organization that has been incredibly supportive of Catholic Charities services, and one which knows no boundaries in its philanthropic endeavors.
The week before Christmas two of our sites hosted toy distribution events for families in need. At Catholic Charities in Brockton, we hosted 500-plus families to shop our Christmas store stocked with 1,000 donated toys. And at the Teen Center at St. Peter's, we partnered with the Menino Foundation to host 300-plus local children for a present distribution day on the morning of Christmas Eve. With the immeasurable support of the Menino Fund for Boston and the City of Boston Credit Union, the event offered 1,000-plus toys and nearly 80 bicycles for children and families in need.
Lastly, towards the end of December, Catholic Charities received word that the agency has been awarded two significant grants that will help us grow key programs that support adult education and workforce development.
As we enter the new year, I look forward to continuing the impactful work of CCAB, and I thank all of our dedicated employees for everything they do to bring our mission to light each day. I would also like to thank all of our supporters. We are extremely grateful for your generosity, for without it, we would not be able to serve those in need in our community.
There's no denying the amazing feeling of helping others during the holidays, and we look forward to continuing our efforts. If you'd like to know more about what Catholic Charities does in the community, please visit our website at www.ccab.org or reach out to me personally. I'm always happy to share our good works.
I wish you all the happiest of new years.
KEVIN M. MACKENZIE IS BOARD CHAIR AND INTERIM PRESIDENT OF CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON. HE CAN BE REACHED AT KEVIN_MACKENZIE@CCAB.ORG.