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First Step for Change kicked off in parishes and schools around our diocese on October 1, 2019.  This campaign runs the entire month of October, the month also known as “Respect Life” month.

Since 2004, Catholic Charities has been coordinating First Step for Change—the pro-life, pro-family “baby bottle fundraiser” that helps to provide material assistance to low income pregnant women and families served by our First Step Programs.  First Step for Change has continued to grow in popularity among our diocesan parishes, with our last three years being the most successful in terms of both parish participation and dollars raised.  On behalf of those who have benefitted from the generosity of your parishioners, thank you!

In the interest of good stewardship of resources (financial, human, and environmental), Catholic Charities made the following modifications to the 2019 First Step for Change campaign:

  • We will no longer be purchasing plastic baby bottles for parish use
  • We will no longer be accepting loose coins or rolled change
  • We will be offering three different ways for parishes to participate in First Step for Change in 2019—In this transitional year, three different ways to participate in First Step for Change are available:

1.) The traditional “baby bottle way,” using bottles already at the parish or purchased by the parish.

2.) The NEW “baby bottle bag way,” using biodegradable, environmentally safe bags provided by Catholic Charities at no cost to your parish.

3.) A special collection taken up on the weekend of your choice in October (Respect Life Month), which is the month when we typically sponsor First Step for Change.

 With any of the three participation options listed above, parishes are responsible for processing all money collected, and sending one check to Catholic Charities.

THANK YOU for your support of this year’s First Step for Change campaign.  



First Step to Service is a service-learning opportunity for students developed by Catholic Charities, Diocese of Youngstown.  As a Catholic school in the Diocese of Youngstown, you are part of a larger network of organizations and ministries that serve the needs of others as Jesus would.

First Step to Service offers the following benefits to Catholic schools in the Diocese of Youngstown:

  • A strengthening of the connection between Catholic Charities and school aged youth.
  • Opportunities for students to deepen their faith by better understanding their responsibility to help the “least of their brothers and sisters” in need.
  • Cultivation of service-minded young people.
  • Opportunities for students to learn more about their call as Catholics and as Christians to care for those in need.
  • Worksheets on various topics related to Catholic
  • Charities, along with activities, stories, pictures, discussion topics and practical suggestions for engaging students in the work of Catholic Charities and community service projects.
    Social media opportunities for teachers to showcase how their students are using First Step to Service.
  • Carefully selected give away items related to presented topics.

If you have questions regarding the First Step to Service project contact Nikole Baringer via email 

Thank you for all of the support you show Catholic Charities throughout the school year.


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