The Most Rev. Edward U. Kmiec, bishop of Buffalo, has announced a $10.5 million goal for the 2011 Appeal in support of Catholic Charities of Buffalo.
The announcement kicked off the 87th annual campaign. This year's Appeal again carries the theme, "Whoever. Wherever. Whenever," said diocesan officials, pointing out that Catholic Charities is always there, providing help for people of all faiths and walks of life when they need it most.
Appeal Week 2011 will take place April 10-17, though the Appeal will continue through the end of the fiscal year (June 30). Appeal Week will celebrate the support of Western New Yorkers who have made a contribution to the Appeal, and encourage those who have not already donated to do so.
Kmiec made the announcement from the Lackawanna Food Pantry, one of four food pantries Catholic Charities of Buffalo operates. In 2010, these food pantries provided enough bags of food for 213,717 meals to nearly 23,000 individuals.
Kmiec remarked on the fragility of our nation's economy and the loss government funding for some of Catholic Charities' services, but expressed optimism for the Appeal's success.
"We remain in the midst of a deep economic downturn. Recovery at the national level, fragile at best, is virtually non-existent locally. According to U.S. Census figures, Buffalo is now the third-poorest city in the nation," said Kmiec. "Despite the challenges we face, I am inspired by the incredible commitment of the Appeal leadership team and our many supporters. I have found in our diocese a marvelous and extraordinary spirit of giving and service to others."
The bishop was joined by Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, who introduced Greg Maher as chairperson of the 2011 Appeal and recognized the other members of the Appeal leadership team and volunteers.