Catholic Charities of Buffalo announced today that Appeal 2020 in support of Catholic Charities and the Fund for the Faith achieved a total of $8,411,138 in cash and pledges, representing 84.1 percent of its $10 million goal.
"While it has certainly been a challenging year, we are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity of the Western New York community," said Deacon Steve Schumer, president & CEO of Catholic Charities. "Never before has the annual appeal been so relevant. In just a three-month timeframe during the coronavirus pandemic, we provided services to more than 29,000 individuals and families from across all faiths."
The annual appeal helps to fund Catholic Charities' programs and services, including food pantries, basic emergency assistance, mental health and substance abuse counseling, and workforce and education, among others at dozens of sites across Western New York, along with a number of programs and ministries through the Fund for the Faith. Since mid-March and the onset of the pandemic, the volume of clients Catholic Charities has been assisting in its nine food pantries has been up 37 percent over this same timeframe last year.
"The pandemic has impacted all of us in some way, but what Catholic Charities is able to provide to our community has never been needed more by so many," said Rick Cronin, Appeal 2020 chair. "Thank you to those Western New Yorkers who stepped up in a big way to offer hope and help through their generous contributions, which are invested right back into programs and services that are needed now more than ever."
The theme of Appeal 2020 was "Think of Me" and the patron saint was St. Joseph. In 2019, more than $9.3 million was raised during the appeal.
"We are currently evaluating and understand we may need to make some tough decisions in the future, but right now we are committed to working very hard to do what we can to provide services in the face of these difficult financial times as we expect the need to continue to grow in the weeks and months ahead," continued Deacon Schumer. "For nearly 100 years, Catholic Charities has been and always will be here to support our neighbors in need."
Donors can continue to support the work of Catholic Charities and the Fund for the Faith at ccwny.org/donation.
Catholic Charities has helped individuals and families in need since its founding in 1923. That need is varied and widespread - from emergency assistance to mental health counseling and treatment, and from specialized services for older adults to help with job training and education. 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 assesses clients for other needs to ensure long-term success.
An excellent steward of the contributions it receives, Catholic Charities earns a high rating from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management and is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity. Catholic Charities also receives highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service. For more information, visit ccwny.org