Contributing to Catholic Charities is more important than ever. The good works this organization has engaged in since its founding in 1923 cuts across race, gender, demographics, socioeconomics and religion.
Catholic Charities helps individuals and families – nearly 153,000 people last year, alone, through 70 programs and services across 61 sites in the eight counties of Western New York, in addition to a number of ministries through the Bishop’s Fund for Faith. Without strong public support, programs that help feed people, nurture babies and train the work force will be hurt. Anyone who cares about Western New York should join in supporting this cause.
The 2018 Catholic Charities Appeal, the 94th, is underway with a goal of $11 million, which is the same as the past two appeals. Today marks the First Report Sunday. The culmination of Appeal Week is Palm Sunday, March 25, although the appeal lasts until June 30. Of this year’s goal, Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone said it “recognizes the challenges associated with raising such a significant amount of money while also realizing the need for our programs and services is great.”
The work of Catholic Charities is epitomized by the patron saint to which each appeal is dedicated. This year it is St. Clare of Assisi because, as Robert M. Bennett, said: “St. Clare dedicated her life to caring and showing concern for the poor and marginalized in society.”
Bennett is chancellor emeritus of the New York State Board of Regents and general chair for the 2018 annual appeal. This year’s appeal theme is “Love Your Neighbor.” Bennett’s son, Andrew, and daughter, Maurine Falkowski, are cochairs.
This year’s appeal may be more challenging that usual, given that the Buffalo Diocese has had to deal with new revelations of priest sexual abuse. The bishop has apologized for these heinous acts – which occurred before his Buffalo tenure – and promised to make amends, setting up a separate fund for restitution for victims. None of the donations to Catholic Charities or past donations to “Upon This Rock” campaign will be used for this purpose, he has pledged.
Catholic Charities earns the highest-possible ratings from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management and is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. Catholic Charities also receives the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.
The money raised for the appeal goes to worthy efforts such as the new Harlem Road Women, Infants and Children (WIC) office. The program relocated in September and since that time, the Cheektowaga office normally serves 2,200 participants per month, according to officials.
Catholic Charities provides cradle-to-grave support for those in need but cannot do so without the public’s help. It’s easy to give, by calling (716) 218-1400, or by going to ccwny.org. or accounts on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Support Western New York by giving to Catholic Charities.