Catholic Charities honors Delanco Police Chief Jesse DeSanto as Light of Hope in Burlington County
DeSanto is a longtime financial supporter of Catholic Charities and has worked closely with Catholic Charities’ Providence House-Domestic Violence Services, as well as Community Services of Burlington County.
Fighting domestic violence and poverty
As a police officer, DeSanto is more aware than most that desperation can lurk in even the sleepiest of communities.
In Delanco, the Burlington County burg where he presides as police chief, he has seen how domestic violence can devastate a family. He has seen how poverty can persist from generation to generation. He has seen how addiction can drive otherwise lawful citizens to burglary to fund their next fix.
So he knows how important social services, like Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton, can be to lift vulnerable citizens out of crisis and onto the road to recovery and stability.
That’s why he has supported Catholic Charities financially for almost a decade and why he eagerly partners with Providence House-Domestic Violence Services of Burlington County and Community Services in Burlington County to assist in whatever way needed.
He served as his police force’s domestic violence liaison to Providence House and routinely calls on Providence House’s specially trained volunteers to provide support for victims. He also has helped link people to shelter and other basic-need services through Community Services, which was located in Delanco until moving in March to Burlington.
He and Pam, his wife of 28 years, also support Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County and Greater Trenton-Princeton.
DeSanto has helmed Delanco’s police force, which has 13 officers serving 5,000 residents in 3.5 square miles, since 2012. Before joining the Delanco department in 1999, he spent a decade as a Delaware River Port Authority police officer.
He traces his philanthropy to the compassionate example his parents set during his childhood.
“We didn’t have a lot. My mom didn’t work, and my dad was a plumber. But he was big on charity,” DeSanto said. “When he donated, he always tried to donate anonymously, and he would make donations I thought were large, for our situation.”
Besides generosity, DeSanto also inheirited humility from his parents.
“I was surprised and grateful to receive this award, but I don’t think I do anything different than anyone else in my position who has my opportunities,” he said. “I’m sure there are hundreds of people who do what I do.”
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For more information: Dana DiFilippo, Catholic Charities communications, firstname.lastname@example.org or (609) 394-5181, ext. 1153.
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