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Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo, speaks at the podium during Tuesday's event.
Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo, speaks at the podium during Tuesday's event.

Catholic Charities launches Appeal 2020, sets $10M goal to provide critical programs & services to more than 160,000 Western New Yorkers


Tue, Jan 14th 2020 04:20 pm

Catholic Charities today announced the launch of Appeal 2020, setting a goal of $10 million. This year’s theme is “Think of Me.”

“Embarking on my first Appeal, I have been meeting with both clients and supporters hearing firsthand the impact that Catholic Charities has on our community’s most vulnerable populations,” said Deacon Steve Schumer, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “Our $10 million goal recognizes the challenges associated with raising such a significant amount of money in today’s environment while also realizing the ongoing need for the critical programs and services that we provide.”

The annual Appeal helps fund 51 programs and services administered by Catholic Charities across dozens of sites in the eight counties of Western New York, along with a number of ministries that benefit all parishes through the “Fund for the Faith.”

Programs and services provided by Catholic Charities benefited more than 160,000 people in 2019.

The chair of Appeal 2020 is Rick Cronin. He has served as parish chair for the Appeal for the past seven years and will serve his 28th year as chair of the Appeal in his home parish of St. Margaret Church, Buffalo.

Cronin was a 37-year employee of the Social Security Administration before his retirement. Graduating from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, he has held leadership roles for the school’s annual giving fund campaign, the alumni association board of directors, and is a member of the Signum Fidei Society of distinguished alumni.

“Despite whatever challenges may come, tens of thousands across our community continue to rely on the support provided by Catholic Charities,” Cronin said. “We must come together as a faith community and think of our neighbors in need. When considering your donation, think of that hungry family who received food, or that young person who was able to get back on track by earning a high school equivalency diploma. These are the individuals who benefit from your contribution to Catholic Charities.”

Again this year, donors will have the ability to designate their Appeal gift. Donors can choose from three options: give to the Appeal as in previous years, which benefits Catholic Charities and the “Fund for the Faith”; give to Catholic Charities only; or give to the “Fund for the Faith” only.

Appeal 2020 runs through June 30. Appeal volunteer workshops and events are now underway throughout the region and will take place in the following locations:

•Cattaraugus/Allegany counties workshop, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at St. Elizabeth Motherhouse, 115 E. Main St., Allegany

•Chautauqua County workshop, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at St. Mary of Lourdes Church, 42 Main St., Bemus Point

•Erie County workshop, from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, at Russell J. Salvatore Pantry & Outreach, 75 Caldwell Place, Lackawanna

•Niagara County workshop, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Immaculate Conception Church, 2671 Townline Road, Ransomville

•The Genesee/Orleans/Wyoming counties workshop took place Jan. 8 at St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church.

As part of Appeal 2020 launch, Todd Ventura, a client of Catholic Charities for the past five years, shared his experience.

“My family has had to overcome many obstacles in recent years, and Catholic Charities has helped us to navigate through these difficult times. The services they offer are only rivaled by the commitment, character and love that the folks working there provide to the community,” Ventura said. “Catholic Charities was able to help mend my family and we will be forever grateful.”

The patron saint of Appeal 2020 is St. Joseph. To make a donation to Appeal 2020, contact Catholic Charities at 716-218-1400 or visit ccwny.org. Follow Catholic Charities on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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 high ratings 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.

" ‘Think of Me’ as a theme narrows the focus appropriately. Think of your friend, family member or neighbor who has reached out – or one day may need to reach out – for help, guidance or other support. The one who is vulnerable, hurting, confused, lonely or without faith – that’s the one to think of when we consider whether a contribution to the Appeal makes sense," said Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo.

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