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Generosity helps Catholic Charities continue its selfless work in WNY

Catholic Charities stands ready to serve the public wherever there is a need, but its good works would be impossible without the continued generosity of Western New Yorkers.

Bishop Richard J. Malone announced a $10.9 million goal for the 2015 Catholic Charities Appeal, which shifts into high gear today with the start of Appeal Week and culminates on Palm Sunday.

Although Appeal Week is the big push for donations, volunteers will continue their efforts toward the final goal until the conclusion of Catholic Charities’ fiscal year on June 30, if necessary.

There is reason for hope that the goal will be met. It is $100,000 more than the goal for last year’s drive, which exceeded expectations by raising more than $11 million. The theme of this year’s 91st annual appeal is “Find Good Within,” and its patron saint is St. Francis of Assisi.

The importance of Catholic Charities cannot be understated. The nonprofit organization serves people regardless of religious affiliation and is one of the region’s largest human services agencies, with 61 sites, the Bishop’s Fund for the Faith and 70 varied programs reaching nearly 142,000 people every year.

The organization helps turn lives around. Keshaun’s journey is featured on the appeal website, where a number of success stories are told.

Catholic Charities is working to improve education in Buffalo, partnering with Say Yes Buffalo to provide wraparound services to Buffalo Public School students. In addition, the organization’s Immigration and Refugee Assistance Program recently received two grants totaling $200,000 to develop a Hospitality and Tourism Training Institute, in partnership with Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The grants were awarded by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council and the Statler Foundation.

The appeal’s donor stronghold is the parishioners of the diocese, with businesses, foundations and other organizations and individuals making significant contributions. Their generosity allows Catholic Charities to continue working to improve the lives of so many in the community.