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eNews | June 2017

CCANO Stands with Refugees

On June 20, we celebrated World Refugee Day, honoring the courage, strength and determination of those forced to flee their homes due to conflict and violence. Here at CCANO, we offer a range of resettlement, cultural orientation, language and other services to meet the needs of refugees from the moment they arrive at the airport and beyond.

CCANO Refugee Services Case Aide Ihssan Sharbah knows the plight of refugees well. After serving as an interpreter, linguist and cultural advisor for the U.S. forces in Iraq for 4 years, Ihssan began to fear for the safety of himself and his family. When his family was approved for refugee visas and arrived in the United States, they were surprised by what awaited them here. Watch Ihssan's story and follow his journey from interpreter to refugee to eventual CCANO employee!   

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Volunteer Spotlight: English as a Second Language Tutor Darcy Vallery  
Darcy Vallery began volunteering with CCANO's English as a Second Language (ESL) program just last year, but she's already made a lasting impact! In the fall of 2016, she began working with levels one through four learners three times a week. Doing so, she noticed the need many students had to receive more personal help in a one-on-one environment.

Darcy began taking students for 30 minutes one-on-one outside of the classroom setting. During these sessions, they received help with class material, projects and presentations. Then, the tutoring program grew past simply class topics. Darcy began helping students translate mail they received, learn workplace specific English and more. Read the full story to see Darcy's positive impact on ESL students' lives.

Deaf Action Center Press Conference.jpgDeaf Action Center Gives a Voice to the Voiceless

Hurricane season is here, which means you may soon see Catholic Charities' Shari Bernius on your television. Bernius, the Administrator at Catholic Charities' Deaf Action Center, is known to many for providing sign language interpretation services for press conferences during times of emergency and disaster. Leading up to and during hurricane season, Bernius and Jennifer Guerrieri, who serves as Interpreter Coordinator, participate in mock evacuations and educate the community on the needs of deaf individuals in case they should encounter a deaf individual during an actual evacuation or other emergency situation.

However, hurricane season only represents a portion of the work done through the Deaf Action Center. Bernius and Guerrieri work around the clock to make sure deaf individuals and those around them are well-versed on the rights afforded to the deaf. Read the full story to see how they're giving voices to the voiceless.

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CCANO Staff Honored 
Last month, staff involved in Catholic Charities' response following the EF-3 tornado in New Orleans East were honored by City Councilman James Gray! CCANO staff was on the ground immediately, offering counseling, food distribution and more. Now, CCANO will continue to serve those affected by serving as part of a Long-Term Recovery Group in the area.     

Be NOLAReady This Hurricane Season    

Hurricane season officially began on June 1 and lasts until November 30. The best way to ensure the safety of your family and property is to be prepared. This includes planning evacuation routes, making communication plans, packing emergency kits and more. Check out our tips and resources to make sure you're prepared.  


ACCESS Hosts Virtual Baby Shower 

Support new families in need through the ACCESS Virtual Baby Shower! You can purchase items most in need on our Baby Registry on

Mark Your Calendar! 
June 27 - Peace Prayer Walk, 6PM at St. Andrew the Apostle
1000 Howard Ave. Suite 200 New Orleans, LA 70113 | Tel: (504) 523-3755
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