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Minocqua's Caritas Helps Fill Gaps For Those In Need

Emily Bright

There are a number of agencies in the Northwoods that help people in need, but when you’re faced with a crisis, it can be difficult to figure out where to go. Who do you call, and how do you pay for gas to get there? One Minocqua organization aims to address that challenge.

Caritas is a one-stop shop for people in Vilas and Oneida Counties in temporary urgent need of help. Run by volunteers and donations, it’s given out more than $23,000 of emergency help to over 250 people since it opened just over a year ago. Sometimes, says volunteer Laurie Glowac,

“Some people just want someone to listen to them. A lot of times if you’re poor, you’re being shuttled around to different agencies and made to wait and nobody’s really listening.”

Anyone can come in for help. Caritas has food, diapers and personal care items, a job board, and gift cards donated from local businesses, including dentists and lawyers. They help people navigate social service agencies. Volunteer Judy Ozinga says the giving isn’t just one-way.

“We’ve had people who’ve come in and said you helped me then, and now I’ve got a job, I’m working, what can I do to pay back? A lot of the clients say ‘what can I do to pay back?”

Caritas, located next to St. Matthias,  is open Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 9:30 to 11, and the last Saturday of the month.

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