Guest Editorial by Thomas Beecher Jr. and Nancy Nielsen, M.D., Ph.D.
Tens of thousands of individuals, families and children of all ages and faiths rely year-round on the support provided by the Appeal through Catholic Charities.
We launched the 98th Appeal last month with a $9.5 million goal. Our team is reinvigorated, optimistic and already hard at work. Results from some early efforts on behalf of the Appeal have proven fruitful. Thanks to many generous donors, we are off to a terrific start with $1.2 million already raised.
With the pandemic still a driving force, a variety of challenges continue to surface for many individuals, children and families in our community. These effects won’t go away soon and only point to the ongoing need for the critical programs and services Catholic Charities provides. Last year alone, the annual Appeal brought help and “HOPE” to more than 125,000 Western New Yorkers through Catholic Charities’ 57 programs and services across dozens of sites in the eight-county region.
For nearly 100 years, Catholic Charities has been a beacon of “HOPE” for the most vulnerable and most in need in our community, providing a multitude of services for those who are struggling to make ends meet or facing challenges impacting their health and well-being.
Community support through the annual Appeal provides “HOPE” to so many. It has helped provide food through Catholic Charities’ nine pantries and emergency assistance for basic needs such as clothing and restarting households. It has supported families through mental health counseling and substance use treatment, as well as intensive therapy for families with at-risk teens. School-based counselors help to remove obstacles to learning for students, and education and vocational programs get young adults on track who need a high school diploma and a career start. It has helped refugees forced to restart their life in a new country and those young at heart who need a friendly call or visit. Funds raised through the Appeal are crucial to ensuring these programs and services can continue.
The Appeal also benefits the “Fund for the Faith,” which supports such diocesan ministries and programs as campus ministry, Catholic education and spiritual renewal in parishes. Donors can designate their gift by giving to the Appeal, which benefits both Catholic Charities and the “Fund for the Faith”; giving to Catholic Charities only; or to the “Fund for the Faith” only.
We hope and pray that those who are able and who have given previously will join us again in 2022. No gift is too small.
Through the dedication of our Appeal leadership team, parish volunteers, Catholic Charities staff, and the generosity of Western New Yorkers, we are committed to reaching the Appeal 2022 goal. Thank you for your continued support.
Appeal 2022 supports 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.” Beecher and Nielsen are co-chairs of Appeal 2022.