Bishop Richard J. Malone will announce the goal, theme and patron saint of the 91st annual appeal to support Catholic Charities' services provided throughout Western New York and the Bishop's Fund for the Faith on Wednesday, Jan. 7, The kick-off event will be held at 10:30 a.m., at Catholic Charities' A Gathering Place, a daily social program for adults 60 years of age and older, located at 128 Wilson St., Buffalo.
The appeal helps fund Catholic Charities' 70 programs across 61 sites in the eight counties of Western New York.
Two important dates during the 2015 Appeal will include First Report Sunday on March 22 and the culmination of appeal week on Palm Sunday, March 29. Although appeal week marks the strongest push for parish donations, if necessary, volunteers will work to achieve the final goal until the conclusion of Catholic Charities' fiscal year on June 30.
Catholic Charities' site at 128 Wilson St. offers a variety of programs and services to assist older adults, including the Foster Grandparent Program, a volunteer opportunity for individuals ages 55 and above to work with children with special needs, and Project HOPE (Helping Older People Excel), which works to keep older adults with a mental health diagnosis independent in their home through linkage, referral and advocacy.
Bishop Malone, preparing for his third appeal as bishop of Buffalo, and Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, have appointed Jake and Katie Schneider as chairs of the 2015 Appeal.
The volunteer leadership team will also include Nicholas and Nicole Tzetzo, vice chairs; Kellie Ulrich, community division chair; Jim and Mary Beth Basil, and John and Suzanne Berger, corporate co-chairs; and Rick Cronin, who will again serve as parish chair.
"We continue to be blessed with an appeal leadership team consisting of extremely talented and dedicated individuals who volunteer their time to help us raise awareness for the services and programs so vitally important to the entire Western New York community," Sister Mary said. "Through their leadership, I remain confident we will again meet our appeal goal in 2015 despite continued economic challenges faced by our region and the many worthy organizations and challenges vying for funding."
Added Sister Mary, "The incredible generosity among the people of Western New York allows us to continue to serve more than 142,000 of our neighbors each year."
Jake and Katie Schneider, this year's appeal chairs, are parishioners at Blessed John Paul II Parish in Lake View.
Jake Schneider, an architect and developer, owns Schneider Design Architects PC and Schneider Development LLC. He graduated from St. Francis High School, Athol Springs, and the University of Notre Dame. Jake presently serves on the Foundation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo board and has served as chair of the St. Francis High School board of directors.
Katie Schneider, a photographer, owns Katie Schneider Photography in Buffalo. She is a graduate of Nottingham Academy and Wells College. Katie has served as chair of the Blessed John Paul the II Parish Council.
Jake and Katie both serve on the Bishops Council of the Laity as program committee chairs. They reside in Lake View and have four children and two grandchildren.
For 91 years, Catholic Charities has helped individuals and families in need. That need is varied and widespread, from emergency assistance to counseling, and from specialized services for the elderly to help with job training and education.
As the most comprehensive human service provider in Western New York, Catholic Charities makes a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assess its clients for other needs to ensure long-term success.
Catholic Charities is an excellent steward of the contributions it receives. For the past five years, Catholic Charities has attained the highest-possible rating from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management. Catholic Charities also receives the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.
More information on appeal 2015 will be available following the launch on Jan. 7. To make a donation, contact Catholic Charities at 716-218-1400 or go to www.ccwny.org.