A community-wide Catholic Charities Day of Giving will be held on Friday, June 8 throughout the eight counties of Western New York to raise funds for the 2018 Appeal. The first $50,000 raised that day will be matched dollar-for-dollar in an effort to help achieve this year's $11 million goal before the June 30 deadline.
To date, the 94th annual Appeal has raised $9.8 million or 89 percent of this year's goal since it began in January.
Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, said the matching funds are the result of donations from anonymous donors who strongly support the organization's mission and recently stepped forward to help the Appeal reach a successful conclusion.
"The theme of this year's Appeal is 'Love your Neighbor' and we are extremely grateful and most appreciative for these generous gifts which will hopefully be doubled thanks to our anonymous donors who are living examples of the love of neighbor the Apostle Paul was referring to in the Book of Galatians," said Sister Mary. "Just as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes, this is a chance for the entire Western New York community to feed and bless our neighbors in need."
Sister Mary said a variety of activities are being planned to maximize the special day of giving including a round of second collections in some parishes of the diocese, while other parishes are holding split clubs or other fund-raising events. The Corporate Committee will solicit local businesses through a phonathon. A big push on social media will support these efforts.
"We will be reaching out to first-time and lapsed donors as well as those who have already made a gift but might find themselves in a position to donate a few more dollars to this year's Appeal," Sister Mary added.
In keeping with the theme of "eights" for June 8th, Sister Mary explained Catholic Charities operates eight food pantries throughout the diocese, that one in eight people in Western New York do not have consistent access to nutritious food, and how a gift of $25 would help supply a meal for eight families.
Buffalo is the site of four food pantries. The remaining pantries are located in Franklinville, Getzville, Lackawanna, and Wellsville. Together, the food pantries impacted the lives of nearly 5,800 people last year.
Sister Mary said, "The quickest and easiest way to support the Catholic Charities Day of Giving is to go directly to the organization's website - ccwny.org/donate. You may never have given before, but now want to make a statement about the critical value of our services, or perhaps you have already donated, but want to give a little bit more. Either way, since all donations received on June 8 will be doubled, this is the time to do the most good."
Funds raised during the Appeal will help support the 70 programs and services provided by Catholic Charities at 61 sites throughout Western New York, along with a number of ministries that are part of the Bishop's Fund for the Faith.
Catholic Charities has been helping individuals and families in need throughout the eight counties of the diocese since 1923. The organization impacted the lives of more than 152,000 individuals - Catholic and non-Catholics alike - over the past year alone.
The theme of this year's Appeal, which began in January, is "Love your Neighbor" and the patron saint is St. Clare of Assisi.
Catholic Charities is the most comprehensive human service provider in the region, serving people of all ages, races, faiths and walks of life. It 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.
To donate to the 2018 Appeal or for more information, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to ccwny.org. You can also join us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.