Catholic Charities Fort Worth runs three social enterprises: Translation and Interpretation Network, Transportation with Purpose and Worn. Marianne Woerner, Vice President Social Enterprise at Catholic Charities Fort Worth, shares insights on lives changed and lessons learned pursuing their social enterprise agenda:
We are poverty experts who have seen the issue up close. We know the systemic contributions that feed it, and the stigmas that support it. We’ve watched it build barriers, destroy communities and keep individuals and families from living the life they deserve. We are ready to stop the cycle and know we have it in us to break it.
One of those ways is through our social enterprises. We utilize the power of the marketplace to propel our mission. The unique successes we’ve seen in our social enterprises provide CCFW with unrestricted funds that empower us to take action when we identify an unmet need in our community.
We’ve seen our social enterprises transform the lives of those we’re committed to serve. Through our Translation & Interpretation Network and Immigration Services, we’ve witnessed families reunified and strengthened. Through our Transportation Services we’ve watched our community and workforce develop as more people are able to find stability in employment, attend vital medical appointments, and complete various daily life activities like grocery shopping.
One previous client shared her story of the physical and financial transformation she experienced after utilizing our transportation network. After spending over an hour walking to and from work or on the bus, Mandie was facing medical issues stemming from constant stress on her feet. One day she saw a CCFW transportation vehicle and it all changed. By utilizing the services, she was able to not only regain her strength and save herself from possible surgery, but also was able to purchase a car, received a promotion at work, and is now providing hope to others in the similar situation.
In 2010 CCFW was actively moving forward with Social Enterprise business ideas within the agency. Realizing the need to network with other practitioners who share our common goal of developing businesses that create a double bottom line of profitability and social impact, we decided to join the Social Enterprise Alliance. This partnership has brought us so much value, including knowledge of best practices, story sharing and awareness of what’s current and thriving within the social enterprise communities. This input and information has enabled us to actively grow our social enterprise businesses and vet new ideas for the future.
CCFW’s social enterprise businesses have an agenda: to use its services and employment opportunities to directly address an issue and help those affected. We know how to use our business savvy to elevate the common good. And we know how to take action.
To learn more about Catholic Charities Fort Worth’s social enterprises you can visit their website at https://www.catholiccharitiesfortworth.org/our-initiatives/ or contact Marianne Woerner at firstname.lastname@example.org