Catholic Charities in dire need for volunteers to continue helping the community

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For one year Araceli De La Cruz said she is been homeless. When her father's apartment burned down her saving grace was Catholic Charities.

"They've all been nice to me and made it easier for me, because there are a lot of people that have figured it out already."

Learning how to live on the streets, De La Cruz said-- isn't easy. Every step of the way though she has been guided.

"Feed me, clothe me, show me where to sleep, where to eat, and stuff like that."

But the organization that helps others is hurting for help themselves. To keep the place running they are in dire need of volunteers. On any given day Catholic Charities serves 120 families and distributes 6,000 pounds of food.

"It takes a village to make that happen, so we're in need of volunteers in our intake area, in our reception area, on our thrift store, and our food pantry," said Ashlee Wolf, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Fresno.

One of the volunteers who makes it all possible-- Christina Allen.

"Sometimes you can't give money. Giving your time is just as good as giving your money."

Typically Allen works 35 hours a week-- for free. And even after a self-admitted killer shot two Catholic Charities clients outside in April, "The next day we were back at work-- we came back. Some people didn't, they were a little scared, but I needed to be here."

In the summertime, with school kids at home, volunteers said there is even more mouths to feed. They are seeking anyone willing to donate their time-- even teens that need community service hours.

"Maybe you couldn't give them a dollar at the corner, but you can come in here and give them a few minutes of your time," said Allen.

Because for De La Cruz those few minutes means finding help and hope.
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