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Editorial: Answering the call to give at Catholic Charities

Charles P. “Charlie” Joyce has long been well-known in the Allegany County town of Wellsville, both as a businessman and a philanthropist.

With Joyce’s generous gesture this week, he has imprinted his name for many years to come in the minds of anyone connected to the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

Joyce’s good deed was to donate $350,000 to Catholic Charities of Buffalo, plus another $100,000 in matching funds for other donations that come in. It’s a worthy cause that has been struggling to meet its fundraising goals in the wake of the sex abuse scandals that rocked the church in recent years.

Catholic Charities is a major provider of services to the poor, the sick and disabled, and to all kinds of people in troubled or compromised circumstances. Their programs are too numerous to list, but they revolve around feeding the hungry, treating mental and physical illness, pregnancy and childbirth counseling, treating chemical dependency and helping seniors with their changing needs, among many areas.

The need for support in the eight counties of Western New York covered by the diocese is never-ending. Joyce testified to the fact that concerned citizens can’t close their eyes due to dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church.

“We’ve given to the Catholic Charities for years,” he said. “Remember what happens with the money and how desperate the needs are in our part of the country.”

More people will be lifted out of desperation thanks to Joyce’s generosity. Joyce is president of Otis Eastern Service, a pipeline and oil supply corporation with a 43-acre campus in Wellsville.

Earlier this year, Catholic Charities presented Joyce with its 2019 Hero of Hope Partner Award as it kicked off its fundraising campaign in Allegany and Cattaraugus counties. A donation from Joyce made possible the creation of the Wellsville Catholic Charities Food Pantry and Outreach.

He has also made notable donations to Alfred and St. Bonaventure universities.

The purpose of Joyce’s matching funds is to challenge others to step up for Catholic Charities, which is some $2.2 million short of its goal for the campaign. Let’s hope that other supporters, whether Catholic or not, answer the call.

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