What a time to be in this world, in this country, in this state. We are thinking of you all and hoping you are as well as can be.
From a hot water leak under the basement bathroom floor that was undiscovered for two months, to holes in the roof, to an adjacent tree falling on the house and MORE, 2019 was a year with an uncommon number of mishaps at Catalyst.
As 2019 was a year of upheaval, 2020 has been a year of healing, even amidst the extraordinary circumstances that COVID-19 and increasing awareness of racial justice has brought. 2020 has been a year of big changes. Pursuant to two of our original families moving on to permanent housing in 2019, some refurbishment was accomplished in one of the units and Catalyst provided temporary housing to a family with three young children so they could improve their housing record to make future permanent housing more accessible. Since they moved on, we have welcomed a new small family to one unit of Catalyst, while the other remains occupied by one of our original families. This makes two adults and seven kids at Catalyst, ranging in age from almost six months to 13 years.
COVID-19 has certainly wreaked its havoc here at Catalyst, as it undoubtedly has in many of your lives, both in illness and in the societal repercussions- employment struggles, no paid sick leave for high risk positions, kids home from school, etc.
In the midst of it all, the big kids are plugging away at online school, and the little ones have maintained enrollment at a family child care in Madison, offering them care with less risk as they are not in a large center setting. The playground donation from Tracy & Jack Koziol several years ago has been a lifesaver, too, giving the kids a safe outdoor setting to get some energy out.
We are maintaining contact with families as best we can, dropping off care packages, texting and using FaceTime for meetings. Thank you for your support, and for keeping in touch.
Best wishes to you all.
Catalyst Project, Inc. Family Fun & Music - Fundraiser at the Wil-Mar Oct. 14th 3-6 pm
A family fun event is planned for Sunday, October 14, 2018 from 3-6 pm at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center (953 Jenifer Street, Madison, WI, 53703).
The event will feature the band, Fixed Income, and a magic show by Bob Kann. Community donors will provide pizza, popcorn, ice cream and children's activities.
Get ready to dance to the music of Fixed Income throughout the afternoon. Fixed Income is a 5-piece rock band featuring music from the 50s, 60s, 70s,and yes, maybe an 80s song.
Bob Kann will provide magic and entertainment (4:30-5:00 pm). “When Bob plays the court jester, kids faces light up. And so do their minds.” -The Capital Times.
All proceeds go to the Catalyst Project Inc, -- A grass-roots, neighborhood housing program for moms and children. Supporting families through empowering women and creating opportunities.
The Catalyst Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
For more information about the Catalyst Project, Inc., contact: Susan Donahoe, MS, Program Coordinator; firstname.lastname@example.org
This year in your search for the perfect present for that “person who has everything”, please consider donating to Catalyst Project in their name. The person in whose name a donation has been made will receive a lovely holiday card with pictures of Catalyst kids and a personalized note. What better way to share the joy…
Please email Jenny Grether at Jennifergrether@hotmail.com to order your holiday card today. Or feel free to call her at 608-320-5052 for more details.
Thank you for your continued support, lovely people!
Anna and Susan Donahoe
After 15 months, life in the Catalyst Community continues to be delightful, challenging and completely full of surprises. The original three families are still together and still housed. Our newest resident, an adorable baby boy, was born July 30, bringing our child total to ten. Moms are either working or taking classes and have plans for the future. School age children have excellent school attendance and enjoy Goodman After School Programming. Their moms attended Parent-Teacher conferences this fall. Neighbors help frequently - giving rides, doing repair work, providing meals, childcare, mentoring, tutoring and, most importantly, DOGS TO PET!
In late September, the children were thrilled when, thanks to a very generous donation, a huge play set was installed. One two year old was so delighted when she saw a baby swing go up, she declined to go in the house for supper and sat on Anna’s lap clapping her hands and pointing to herself, squealing, “Me! Me!”, “Wing! Wing!”
Weekly individual and group meetings explore practical matters such as parenting, employment and how to share the laundry room, as well as deeper topics of healing and empowerment. Living in the Catalyst community stretches the capacities of all who live and work there. Despite disagreement and challenges, we desire to live well together and continue to commit to pursuing that goal.
What’s going well? A LOT!
I hope many of you can join us for some fun next Sunday afternoon. Jenny Grether, from Dane County Early Childhood Initiative and her wonderful friends, Jen Hadley and Hannah Copp, have created an awesome fundraiser for us. The hope is to raise the funding necessary to keep the Catalyst house open and operating in full capacity for the rest of the year. We have wonderful plans for sustainability in the future, but we do need to get to the future!
It would be fun to see you Sunday but, regardless, thank you once again for your faith and support. We would not still be alive and kicking without you!
There will be some food, a cash bar, a DJ, auction items and good company. At some point, Susan and I will give a short talk about Catalyst.
Hope to see you Sunday!
Anna Donahoe, MSW, CAPSW
Project Social Worker
Hello friends of Catalyst,
As some of you may be aware, one unit in the Catalyst house was severely damaged by a dryer fire in late August. The family of six living there was relocated to an extended stay motel while extensive repairs were made on the unit. The fire investigator indicated that the likely cause was improper ventilation of the dryer to the outdoors. This meant that over the years of use, lint and heat were trapped in the venting, ultimately leading to the fire. The school age children must take a nearly hour long bus ride to school each morning and the family is much farther from work, daycare, etc. It has been a challenging past several weeks, but it seems we are finally reaching the end of this relocation! This means, however, that we have a lot of clean up to do. As you can imagine, a construction zone means a lot of dust, dirt, piled up items, and in this case, a lot of lingering smoke smells. The construction crew tentatively plans to complete the main floor renovations on Friday. We are hoping to then deep clean the house and bring it back to order so that the family can move back in by Monday. Now comes the shameless plug for volunteers…if any of you love to clean, love Catalyst or even have child-safe cleaning supplies you’d be willing to share/donate, we'd love for you to join us at the house! We’ll be around all day Saturday and Sunday afternoon as well. No amount of time is too small. If you’re interested in helping in any way, please email me and let me know. My email can be found on the "Contact Us" page.
Thanks for being a part of our community! We look forward to sharing more stories and updates on here.
Anna Donahoe, MSW, CAPSW
Project Social Worker
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