Full Speed Ahead: How This Marathon Runner Keeps Community Services Moving

Noelle Davies wears a lot of hats. As the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Community Services Business Manager, Noelle Davies takes on as many responsibilities as she can possibly fit in a day. In her role, she juggles grant management, internal business affairs, and community affairs. She is well-spoken in all Catholic Charities programs and keeps tabs on all the contracts and funding necessary to allow Catholic Charities to fully serve the community.

Education is key

With her origins in education, it’s no surprise Noelle is highly skilled in teaching the community and individuals about the services provided by Catholic Charities. Noelle graduated from Baylor University in 2009 with a Master in Literature and began her career as an adjunct professor teaching literature and writing at Rutgers University, The College of New Jersey, and Burlington County Community College. Now she uses the experience and practice of teaching at the front of the class to cultivate relationships and provide the necessary information to those interested in Catholic Charities.

Community Services is the poverty-reduction arm of Catholic Charities, offering services to help people who struggle with hunger, homelessness, and housing insecurity, as well as people who are vulnerable for other reasons, like immigrants, the elderly, and human trafficking victims. CS helps individuals and families with food, clothing, utility and rent/mortgage assistance, prescription assistance, and shelter, as well as supportive services to move them out of crisis toward self-sufficiency.

 

Stronger than the storm

As a shore girl herself, Hurricane Sandy struck close to home for Noelle. On the lookout for the next step in her professional journey, she began temping for Catholic Charities during the aftermath of the storm, connecting Sandy victims to needed resources while fielding more and more phone calls from people desperate for help.

The fast-paced environment suited Davies, who reflected: “It started to be energizing! The minute I’d get on the phone, I’d have five more voicemails by the end of the call.” She barely stopped for a breather, as she worked overnight as a dispatcher for the Rumson Police. Her work with Sandy victims allowed her to gain invaluable experience in trauma-informed care and how to best speak to someone in crisis. Her knowledge and professionalism, along with the Catholic Charities’ FEMA grant, opened up the opportunity for Noelle to become a full-time office manager with Community Services.

She has since continued to work her way up. When she’s not busy saving the community, you can find Noelle on the boardwalk training for marathons. She has completed over five half marathons and is now registered for her third full marathon. Her 90-minute daily commute from the Atlantic Highlands to Trenton makes training a challenge, she admitted. But it’s worth it, she said, because distance running gives her an opportunity for self-care, and the (very long) runs provide her with time to check in with her mental health to continue to be the spark that she is.

Food for the soul

When she’s not running, she likes to cook with her boyfriend Jake, an avid gardener (pictured below). The two enjoy nutritious but flavor-packed recipes in an effort to maintain a holistic healthy lifestyle. “We like to find the weirdest vegetable we see and figure out how to prepare it,” she said. The pair harvests their own strawberry patch and never back down from any cooking challenge.

They also enjoy camping and hiking, creating a tradition in a bi-annual camping trip in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania. “I am a bit of an adventurer at heart,” she said. She even scaled Mount Hyndman last year. That’s a 12,000-foot peak just north of Sun Valley in Idaho and is considered an extremely difficult climb, with loose boulders and a constant battle with the elements.

Noelle does all she can to fuel her body, mind, and spirit to continue to serve Catholic Charities and people in need.

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For more information: Trish Reilly, Catholic Charities communications, treilly@cctrenton.org or (609) 394-5181, ext. 1146.

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