The Catherine Kennedy Home, a non-profit retirement home was named for Catherine DeRosset Kennedy (1800-1889), a Methodist church leader who founded the Home which operated at different Wilmington locations from 1852 to 2000. It was believed to be the oldest residential facility for the elderly in the United States. The CKH closed in 2000 due to a decline in residents and the excessive cost of upgrading its aging building to meet state and federal standards for assisted living or nursing care. The board reorganized as a charitable foundation in 2001, using its endowment to continue the mission to aid groups meeting the needs of the elderly. Each year they have awarded grants to support charitable, non-profit organizations involved in providing services to improve the general health and welfare of the elderly of New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties.
Outreach has been honored to be a recipient of this grant for many years. The CKH board has always been touched by Sr Isaac’s love for the elderly and they encourage us to apply for the grant each year. Last year’s grant allowed us to help 100 seniors with various living expenses; with much of it going toward utility bills preventing disconnection of services or aiding with re-connection fees. We paid rents, sometimes averting evictions, and helped with medical bills and prescriptions.
We were blessed to be one of the recipients of a grant from the Catherine Kennedy Home Foundation this year. We attended a gathering on May 17 for the grant presentations. Many organizations were present to receive their awards: Bread for Life, Cape Fear Literacy Council, YWCA Grand-parenting Network, Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina, Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, WARM, the Help Hub, and the list goes on. It was very interesting to hear each organization speak about their offerings for the seniors in need. We have a large population of seniors aging in place, many have taken on the responsibility of their grandchildren and it’s good to know there are so many organizations reaching out to them.
We will follow in Sr Isaac’s footsteps and use this year’s grant to reach out to our elders in need of additional assistance. Please keep them in your prayers as they face life’s challenges.