$9.5 million goal to provide critical programs and services to more than 125,000 neighbors in need throughout Western New York
Appeal officials and co-chairs on Wednesday launched Appeal 2022, in support of Catholic Charities of Buffalo and the diocesan “Fund for the Faith,” with a goal of raising $9.5 million by June 30. This year’s theme is once again “HOPE.”
“This new goal strikes a balance as it is more than the Appeal raised last year, but lower than last year’s goal,” said Thomas Beecher Jr., Appeal 2022 co-chair. “With the pandemic still a driving force, the goal recognizes the challenge of raising such a significant amount of money in today’s environment, and it affirms the ongoing need for the critical programs and services Catholic Charities provides.”
Beecher noted early results from new efforts already begun on behalf of the Appeal have proven fruitful: “We enter Appeal 2022 reinvigorated, optimistic and ready to get to work with a terrific head start – $1.1 million already raised through the support of generous donors. We are just about 12% to our goal!”
The annual Appeal helps fund 57 programs and services administered by Catholic Charities across 80 locations, along with several ministries that benefit all parishes through the “Fund for the Faith.” Catholic Charities is the most comprehensive human services provider serving people of all faiths across all eight counties of Western New York.
“As Catholic Charities continues our work to support people in all seasons of life, we remain committed to upholding our values of serving others with dignity, respect and compassion,” said Deacon Steve Schumer, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “And once again we center the Appeal theme around ‘HOPE.’ Through the annual Appeal, we can foster hope and strength in those who need it most.”
Elaborating on the theme, Schumer said, “We are hope for the hungry through our nine food pantries; hope for families who turn to us to help their youth struggling with their mental health; hope for the young at heart who need a friendly call or visit; and hope for new beginnings – young adults who need a high school diploma and a career start, and refugees for workplace skills to restart life here.”
Programs and services provided by Catholic Charities supported more than 125,000 individuals, children and families in 2021. These included basic emergency assistance such as food pantries, educational and vocational advancement services, family safety and stabilization services, immigration and refugee assistance, mental health and substance use treatment, and youth and family support services.
“The Appeal allows Catholic Charities to use the money where it’s needed most from providing for basic needs and emergency assistance for clients to filling the gap for counseling sessions,” said Nancy Nielsen, M.D., Ph.D., Appeal 2022 co-chair. “Your support provides ‘HOPE’ to so many of our neighbors of all ages and faiths year-round.”
The “Fund for the Faith” provides programs that benefit all parish faith communities, including hospital chaplaincy, seminarian, and diaconate formation programs and the Office of Cultural Diversity, among others.
Most Rev. Bishop Michael W. Fisher said, “There continues to be great need in our communities, and many new ones created by this prolonged pandemic. The personal loss experienced by so many has been tragic, and the financial hardship it has caused is very real. People we know and so many others in our communities rely on and turn to Catholic Charities each and every day. The ministries carried out by Catholic Charities, and those which the ‘Fund for the Faith’ also makes possible, are a true gift to individuals and families of every walk of life.”
He added, “When you think about it, there’s really no option for Christians and Catholics when faced with a person or family in need – we must do whatever we can to lend a helping hand, provide a word and gesture of comfort, to ensure that their most basic needs are provided for.”
The patron saint of Appeal 2022 is Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Appeal volunteer workshops and events are now underway virtually.
To donate to Appeal 2022, visit ccwny.org/donation or call 716-218-1400. In addition, donors can now give by texting GIVE HOPE 22 to 44321 or scanning the QR code found on Appeal materials. Also new this year, donors will have the option to pay via PayPal and Apple Pay through Catholic Charities’ newly refreshed website.
Those in need assistance can visit ccwny.org or call the helpline at 716-218-1419 to find assistance through Catholic Charities.
Beecher speaks from the podium. (Submitted photo)