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Catholic Charities seeking marathoners, sponsors


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BRAINTREE -- Catholic Charities is looking for additional runners, as well as donations, to support its team of runners that participate annually in the Boston Marathon, which this year is April 18.

For the past three years, Catholic Charities has sponsored a team of runners in the race to support its activities which help individuals affected by poverty. This year, the organization needs two additional runners to compete, as well as donors to fund their sponsorship.

Each runner has a goal of raising $5,000 for Catholic Charities.

Catholic Charities is hoping at least one of the additional marathoners will run to benefit its refugee and immigration services programs, which assists Haitian refugees who have arrived locally since the earthquake last January.

"Any support that folks are able to provide to our runners will have a direct immediate impact on helping to provide stability to these Haitians who arrived after the earthquake," said Marjean Perhot, director of refugee and immigration services for Catholic Charities.

Since the earthquake, Catholic Charities has served over 1,000 Haitians who came to the U.S. by increasing access to its food pantries and providing legal guidance and referral.

Today, more than 55,000 Haitians live in greater Boston, an overwhelming majority residing within the boundaries of the archdiocese, making the Haitian population one of Massachusetts' largest immigrant groups and the third largest nationwide.

Catholic Charities' immigration and relief services division provides basic needs to newly-arrived immigrants and their families through 140 programs and services in 35 locations across eastern Massachusetts serving about 190,000 people per year.

Among other numerous social services provided to individuals throughout the greater Boston area, Catholic Charities responds to the linguistic, economic, cultural and legal challenges faced by refugees and immigrants, including refugee resettlement, interpreter and translation services and legal advice. The organization greets newly-arrived immigrants at Logan Airport, provides basic material assistance and assists them with job placement.

This year's team of runners, which to date includes Valerie Truell, Kim Greene and Vin Greene, is supporting various Catholic Charities programs.

Truell is running to support Catholic Charities' emergency food, fuel, rental and mortgage assistance programs as well as its refugee and immigration services department.

Kim Greene and Vin Greene are running to support the organization's Basic Needs Services program, which provides material assistance such as groceries and oil to needy people.

Those interested in sponsoring a runner can go the Catholic Charities' web site www.ccab.org/marathon. Those interested in joining the marathon team should contact Ken Binder at ken_binder@ccab.org or at 617-451-7962.

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