We’re shining a spotlight on those who help keep Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley strong and steady. Here you’ll meet the people who work behind the scenes, the citizens who benefit from the agency’s mission, and the everyday heroes around the region who make it all possible.
Sisters of the Precious Blood
When the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes struck the Dayton and Celina areas, they impacted thousands of residents of both areas. The storms—which included 15 tornadoes in all—damaged neighborhoods, homes and businesses throughout both regions. One EF4 tornado left a half-mile wide path of destruction 20 miles long from Brookville to Riverside. This particular tornado barely missed the retirement center of the Sisters of Precious Blood in Trotwood, knocking out power and water to the Sisters’ residence and forcing most of the Sisters to evacuate.
However, that would not last long. Within two days, despite having no running water or electricity, the Sisters were back in their home in order to assist in the clean up efforts with their neighbors who had not been as fortunate. Along with staff and parishioners of Precious Blood parish, the Sisters went to work distributing toiletries, baby items, water and nonperishable food out of the temporary drop-in center they opened at the parish. They provided comfort, organized donations and volunteers, and helped serve a hot meal to hundreds of
residents in need.
Despite the exhaustive efforts and the challenging living conditions, the Sisters were one of the first organizations to reach out to Catholic Social Services to offer financial support, knowing that the agency would be playing a significant role in the recovery efforts. Their tireless work and commitment to their neighborhood should inspire us all.
One of the least-visible members of the CSSMV staff, Accounting Manager John Jackson is the steady hand keeping the agency’s financial records in meticulous order – ready to withstand the most in-depth audit. John also takes the lead in coordinating any needed maintenance and repairs at the Eckerle Administration Center on West Riverview Avenue. Since he joined CSSMV in 2015, his benevolent yet authoritative presence has led more than one co-worker to refer to him affectionately as the office “dad.”
John had retired in 2012, largely to have the time to take care of some family health issues. In 2014, he got a call from a contact at Battelle & Battelle (CSSMV’s auditors at the time), who told him that the agency’s accounting manager was leaving and that John had come to mind as a great fit for CSSMV. As he learned more about the agency’s mission and the community needs it was addressing, John knew that he wanted to get involved. He had — and has — a heart for CSSMV’s programs including refugee resettlement, counseling, and adoption-related services.
Once on board, John quickly positioned his department as a valuable resource for the agency’s client-facing programs.
“No matter what, accounting has to be a rock,” he said. “Program staff need to be able to focus on their clients and how to best serve their needs, and they can’t do that unless we [accounting] are making sure that each program’s finances are in order. Bills are being paid promptly. Financial data is up-todate for grant reports. Checks are ready when they’re needed.”
Accounting may not typically be a “life-or-death” endeavor, but John recognizes that the work he’s doing is key to ensuring that program staff can provide help and hope at the moment they’re needed most.