|August 11, 2014 • VOL. 52, NO. 14 • Oakland, CA|
CCEB: 'best-kept secret'
Cecilia Tonsing is the new chief development officer at Catholic Charities of the East Bay. Tonsing, an Oakland resident, has served as executive director of the California State Parks Foundation, though most of her career has been spent in healthcare fund development. Contact her at email@example.com or 510-768-3115.
Catholic Charities is said to be a "best-kept secret." What would you like people to know about Catholic Charities?
Catholic Charities is the social services arm of the Oakland diocese. As it enters its 80th year, it is embarking on an ambitious expansion of services to meet more needs of the poor and disadvantaged in our community. Caring and concerned folks can support this growth through our diocese's Capital Campaign as well as through our office. I've already observed incredibly effective work occurring here day in and day out. As mission needs are met, we tend to move on to the next important situation rather than stop to tell our story. When donors actually witness the work being done through Catholic Charities, and they see the needs face-to-face, sometimes within walking distance of their own neighborhood, they nearly always remark on the value of our highly targeted impact within our immediate East Bay community.
Why did you choose to work with CCEB?
I view Catholic Charities as the capstone of my career in development and nonprofit management. My most recent positions have involved charitable organizations on a national level. It is a great joy to return to my own community, and to be able to fulfill my Catholic heritage by using the skills and experience I've acquired.
How can people help?
We currently are focused on strengthening our work with parishes in the Oakland diocese and most especially with our Catholic brothers and sisters involved in similar ministries, to better coordinate our services with theirs, always with the overriding goal of maximizing our impact on individuals within the borders of our diocese and on families in need there.
We always need volunteers. With our new $4 million Richmond Service Expansion project being launched in late August, we are especially in need of volunteers who can teach a class — perhaps for those seeking to enhance job skills as a way of escaping from a cycle of poverty — in our new state-of-the-art computer lab. We also need more volunteers to work with adults learning English — especially those who need "Work Place English' so they can be mainstreamed into the workforce. Lawyers and paralegals are needed as volunteers offering assistance to our growing legal department. Nominations for future board and committee assignments are of course always welcome. I welcome phone calls seeking more information about such opportunities.
And, of course, with the increasing need for help in our community, contributions (both large and small) make a difference. Investing in our work through a gift, be it large or small, is deeply appreciated.We also count on prayers, and already I have experienced the difference that prayer can make in individual lives.
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