LOCKPORT, N.Y., Jan. 16, 2013 – About 25 parish and community volunteers, local clergy and lay leaders, and staff of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, gathered today for a volunteer training workshop and reception to help kick off the 2013 Appeal for Catholic Charities in eastern Niagara County.
The event was held at the Tuscarora Inn, 128 Walnut St., in preparation for the 89th annual campaign, which carries a goal of $10.7 million and officially began Jan. 8.
Members of the Appeal leadership team presented information about the 2013 Appeal, including what has changed, how to run a successful parish effort, and ideas for gaining new, and retaining previous, donors.
Working under the theme “Protect. Strengthen. Empower.,” Appeal volunteers from eastern Niagara County will begin to reach out to individuals and businesses in the community to encourage their support of the 2013 Appeal, which helps fund Catholic Charities’ 70 myriad programs across 61 sites in Western New York (WNY). Donors from eastern Niagara County contributed $293,845 to the 2012 Appeal. Last year, Catholic Charities provided assistance to more than 5,200 individuals in eastern Niagara County alone.
In his first Appeal as bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, The Most Reverend Richard J. Malone thanked the volunteers and explained the campaign’s theme.
“Inspired by the three core principles central to the work of Catholic Charities, this theme articulates how our efforts benefit the community and those who turn to us for help,” said Bishop Malone. “The theme also magnifies the link between the generosity of our donors and the results of our efforts.”
Bishop Malone speaks during the workshop.
Bishop Malone was joined by Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, who shared examples of how Catholic Charities’ programs impact the people they serve and underlined the importance of donations of any size.
“Catholic Charities protects seniors through the Foster Grandparent Program from isolation and need,” said Sister Mary. “We strengthen couples who have benefited from our marriage counseling. We empower individuals and families through our Immigration and Refugee Assistance program. These are just a few examples of our services that support people across our diocese.”
“When you give your time and support to the 2013 Appeal, whether a small or large gift, it is a work of love and kindness that will long be remembered,” she said.
Marie Roth, a clinical social worker with Catholic Charities’ Niagara County offices, discussed the range of services available in eastern Niagara County. Out of the Bewley Building in Lockport, Catholic Charities provides family therapy and counseling services, a domestic violence program for men, multisystemic therapy, Our Kids: Parent Education and Awareness Program, a children’s mental health clinic and the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) nutrition program.
Stephen Ulrich, owner of Amherst-based Granite Spine, LLC, and chairperson of the 2013 Appeal, referenced the challenges Catholic Charities volunteers must overcome to achieve the goal and highlighted some positive results.
“Despite donor loss driven by demographic trends, we still have 60,000 donors to this annual campaign. That’s a remarkable number and that’s thanks, in no small part, to your efforts,” said Ulrich. “As we begin this year’s drive, I encourage everyone to continue to reach out to the younger generation of potential donors and spread the message of Catholic Charities’ mission and its role as the charity in WNY.”
Joining Ulrich on the 2013 Appeal leadership team are Michael and Maureen Pratt, vice chairs and leadership gifts chairs, Richard Cronin, parish chair, Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Mattimore, community chair, and Corporate Chairs Anthony Delmonte, Jr., Kathleen Lawley Best and William Lawley, Jr.
Reflecting on the importance of donations to the annual Appeal, Bishop Malone recalled the words of Appeal patron Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a lay man who co-founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
“I want you to know how proud I am to be in the position to lead such a generous diocese,” Malone said. “While I am profoundly grateful for your past work and support, I am reminded of the words of Blessed Frederic, who said, “Charity must never look to the past, but always to the future. May we bring to our mission in WNY, the same compassion, and energy that Blessed Frederic brought to his mission in serving those in need as we embark on Appeal 2013. We ask God to bless our efforts and help us to meet our goal.”
Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, we deliver support to meet immediate needs and then assess for other needs to ensure long-term success. We are the most comprehensive human service provider serving more than 130,000 people in all eight counties of WNY with 70 programs and 61 locations. We receive highest ratings for quality of service provided and financial health/accountability as rated by the Council on Accreditation and Charity Navigator. For 89 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in WNY.
For more information on Appeal 2013 or to make a donation, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to www.ccwny.org. Check out Catholic Charities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccbuffalo and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ccbuffalo.