Catholic Charities 2021 Fall Employee Newsletter


As we enter a new season, it's important to take time to reflect on the incredible work you all do to serve our neighbors in need. So many exciting things have taken place over the last couple of months that we are excited to share with you! Please keep scrolling to see what our agency has been up to.

-Catholic Charities Advancement Team

Meet and Greet Session with Board Members

It's our staff...together...in one room!!! We appreciate every single one of you who was able to make it to our Meet & Greet event. Being around staff from other offices and departments is always a special time but, even more memorable now because a gathering like this hasn't happened since 2019!

Catholic Charities Board Member Shawnee M. Daniels Sykes, PhD reflects...

Jacket Drive

We are pleased to say that Catholic Charities has received 8,000 coats in an anonymous donation! 6,500 of these coats were transported to Fort McCoy. Their biggest concern right now is keeping their Afghan guests warm as the winter months approach. The remaining coats will be available for our local clients, so please stay tuned for further information.

As you can imagine this is a big project to coordinate and oversee. The task of sorting jackets, finding a space, and planning delivery wouldn't have been possible without the collective efforts of Rebel Converting, St. Vincent de Paul Councils of Racine, Waukesha, and Ozaukee, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and volunteers from St. Dominic's Catholic Parish and of course, Catholic Charities. Thank you Jay and Jessica for your hard work in making this a success!

Jay Sugar, Parish Relations Coordinator (center, in white) & Jessica Brandt, Volunteer Coordinator (right, in black) pictured with volunteers.

Program, staff, & OFfice updates

We would like to recognize Laura Ramos and Geoff Malone's new, exciting roles, introduce you to new staff members, as well as office locations.

Martha Pena Acosta, Behavioral Health Intern-WAO

Martha is a Grad student at Alverno College, graduating May 2022. She has been with Catholic Charities for four months and said it has been an amazing experience. She enjoys the family environment and how helpful her team is. Over the last couple of years she has worked in case management positions, such as child welfare and inmates with mental disabilities. Her and her 4-year-old son Jaidyn love the outdoors, cooking, baking, and cheering on their favorite team...the Bucks! Martha is looking forward to growing within her role and being a resource to her clients as well as the Waukesha community.

Guiselle Lizano-Castillo, Bilingual Therapist-KAO

Guisselle returned to Catholic Charities this summer after previously being apart of the Behavioral Health team at RAO from July 2008 until December 2016. Holding her Masters in Community Counseling from Marquette University, she brings over 20 years’ experience in providing mental health services in southeastern Wisconsin and abroad. "I enjoy my job because the clients challenge me to constantly search for more information to be able to share with them. At times when health conditions are not conducive to change walking with my clients challenges my own views of life, and helps me to see their resilience and hopes a reminder to be humble and grateful for every gift in life." Coming from Costa Rica, Guisselle appreciates nature especially on warm days, and enjoys contemplating wild animals.

Bennett Dirksmeyer, Communications Coordinator-CAO

Bennett joined Catholic Charities in August as the agency Communications Coordinator. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in May in Life Sciences Communication, minoring in Digital Cinema Production, Business, and Entrepreneurship. At UW-Madison he performed with the UW Marching Band and traveled to Miami, Chicago, New York City and Pasadena! Bennett enjoys reading and writing, exploring the outdoors, and playing music with friends.


Beginning in August, our agency partnered with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and other Catholic Charities agencies in Wisconsin to support the Afghan Refugees residing at Fort McCoy. Nearly 13,000 people are housed there. The refugees were evacuated from Afghanistan quickly and arrived with very few belongings.

As refugees continue to navigate U.S. legal and immigration statuses, organizations are coordinating with military at Fort McCoy to provide support. Though housing, medical care and food are provided at Fort McCoy, diapers, clothing, and coats were and are still needed. Jay Sugar, Parish Relations Coordinator has been organizing with local parishes and organizations to collect, sort and prepare donations. Jay continues to coordinate volunteers and donations.

Read this press release for more information about USCCB and Catholic Charities efforts at Fort McCoy.


In September, the Good Samaritan Society Celebration took place at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. It was a lovely evening! Our Good Samaritan Society members (donors who give $1,000+ per year) were able to meet with one another, Archbishop Listecki, Board Members, and Catholic Charities staff. During the event we shared our 2020 Agency Video, take a look!

United Way employee giving campaign

Did you know: Catholic Charities has been partnering with United Way since before it was "United Way"!? This Fall's employee giving campaign shows our appreciation for our long standing partners at United Way. Their support of Catholic Charities makes our important work possible.

Stay tuned for more information. (And prizes... yes we said prizes!)

Check out our latest Agency newsletter!

Created By
Kaci Eisch


Created with an image by manfredrichter - "orange leaves autumn"