Debra K. Gunn
Debra K. Gunn has joined Catholic Charities of the East Bay as community engagement manager. Founded in 1935, CCEB is a multiservice nonprofit human services agency providing social services and advocacy to those most in need in Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Gunn previous worked in the Diocese of Oakland chancery for five years, serving as director of pastoral planning and stewardship. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What gifts do you bring to Catholic Charities?
I have been told that of my personal gifts, the gifts of being inclusive, open and welcoming will serve this position best. Having worked directly with parish staff, volunteers and nonprofits for over 15 years, I understand the workload of each parish, the service demands of nonprofits and the personal ministry each person brings to their job. With this knowledge, I am able to better recruit and connect volunteers and financial giving opportunities for the Oakland diocese's Catholic Charities of the East Bay.
What's the most challenging part of your new job?
The most challenging part of my new position is providing relevant communication. Catholic Charities of the East Bay does incredible work to serve the people of the Oakland diocese. To bridge this challenge, I use social media, personal phone calls and visits with our parishes, our most significant partner, in order to fulfill Jesus' call to serve one another as He has served us. The service needs are great at Catholic Charities. Having my office at the Oakland service center on Jefferson Street, I am reminded of the importance of our work. Daily in the lobby I see tentative faces of families wondering if they will be homeless or if they will find work through our employment services. Catholic Charities is a place where they are able to find hope and relief.
What's something you're looking forward to doing in this position?
I look forward to engaging with our parishes, our ecumenical brothers and sisters, nonprofits and corporate partners to help Oakland diocese's Catholic Charities of the East Bay increase services and financials gifts to support the "poor and outcast" as stated by Pope Francis.
— Michele Jurich
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