On June 13, Catholic Charities of Buffalo accepted the largest donation ever in its 95-year history.
Charlie Joyce of Wellsville presented Catholic Charities with a personal gift of $250,000, as well as a corporate gift of $100,000 from Otis Eastern Service LLC. At $350,000, this is the single largest personal and corporate donation in the history of the Catholic Charities Appeal.
"This is a challenging year, but far too many in our community have come to rely on Catholic Charities when they have nowhere else to turn," said Joyce, chairman of the board of Otis Eastern Service, a leading pipeline contractor. "I personally invite others, who are able to give, to think of the people for whom this appeal makes a difference and to support the 2019 Appeal. Every gift, no matter the amount, is important."
Just after the press conference, Joyce announced that he would give another $100,000 to the appeal if it can be matched, "preferably in smaller gifts."
Joyce has been a longtime benefactor of the Catholic Charities. In 2012, his donation made possible the establishment of the Catholic Charities Wellsville Food Pantry and Outreach. Earlier this year, he made a $10,000 donation directly to the pantry. Catholic Charities will rename the site as the Joyce Family Food Pantry and Outreach to honor Joyce later this year.
With just over two weeks to go in the 2019 Appeal, Catholic Charities still needs $2.1 million to make the $11 million goal.
"This is a sizable shortfall compared with previous years at this time, but we cannot lose hope," said Dennis C. Walczyk, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of Buffalo. "We urge Western New Yorkers to step up to help put food on the table of a family struggling with medical bills, support counseling for a child who has experienced trauma, and provide day care for a frail senior and respite for her caregiver."
The annual appeal helps fund 70 programs and services administered by Catholic Charities across 61 sites in the eight counties of Western New York, along with the Fund for the Faith, which supports ministries that benefit all parishes. Catholic Charities offers basic needs assistance, counseling, mental health and substance abuse services, specialized services for families and the elderly, as well as job training and education.
Donations can be made securely online at ccwny.org/donation or by calling 716-218-1400 through June 30.