A Brief History of Caritas
A small group of local clergy and lay people, led by Reverend Ian Stirrat, met on April 19, 1974 to address the growing
economic concerns of those in the greater Beloit community. With a budget of $2500, Caritas was founded. The name
Caritas is derived from the Greek word for love and is also the root of the English word for charity.
By 1977 sixteen churches were supporting Caritas staffed by one paid coordinator Marion Sheesly and numerous volunteers. At first, food and clothing distribution was carried out in three churches in unused nooks and crannies, but by 1978 Caritas Inc. achieved 501(c)3 nonprofit status and
was on its way to becoming the thriving food pantry it is today.
In October of 1988 Cartias moved all operations to its first permanent location at 734 Fourth Street, Beloit, WI. This location proved inadequate for space
and lacked handicap accessibility so
after nine years the property on 1175 Madison Road was purchased.
In 1997 Caritas employed four part time staff and 143 volunteers from 49 churches, businesses and organizations.
Currently, the 2010 Caritas budget is $208,213. There are five employees
and more than 200 volunteers. The work of Caritas continues to serve the
Stateline area community thanks to
the support and compassion of a large volunteer base and community supporters. Not only that, but the facilities have been moved a third time
to 2840 Prairie Ave. in Beloit where clients, volunteers and visitors can enjoy the refurbished space that accommodates
all of Caritas' needs.
Volunteers help remodel the new location.