by Kaitlin Jackson
With less than two months to go, Catholic Charities officials and Appeal leadership ask community for continued support to achieve $11 million goal
With less than two months to go, Catholic Charities today provided an update on this year’s annual Appeal. To date, $7,238,244.21 million has been raised, representing 65% of this year’s $11 million goal.
“About 80% of our funding comes from parish donors and we cannot thank them enough for their continued generosity and support,” said Dennis C. Walczyk, president and CEO, Catholic Charities. “To date we have made significant progress and we urge corporate donors and the entire community to help us achieve our Appeal goal by June 30. Together we can and will help our neighbors find hope.”
The annual Appeal helps fund 70 programs and services administered by Catholic Charities across 61 sites in the eight counties of Western New York, along with a number of programs and ministries that benefit all parishes through the Fund for the Faith.
“Today we are so grateful for the progress of the 2019 Appeal, and for the generosity and compassion of all those who have given,” said Appeal Chair John Daly. “More than 150,000 of our most vulnerable neighbors across our eight counties rely on programs and services provided by Catholic Charities. We are hopeful Western New Yorkers will come to their aid and support the 2019 Appeal.”
At this morning’s news conference, Johnathan Samol, a sixth grader at St. Christopher Roman Catholic School in Tonawanda, read an essay he wrote reflecting on the 2019 Appeal video. The video, titled “Help Your Neighbor Find Hope,” focuses on a mother and daughter who are homeless and living inside of their van, bringing to the forefront issues of homelessness and hunger in Western New York. Johnathan’s essay was chosen as the first place winner out of all sixth, seventh and eighth grade entries at the school.
In his essay, Johnathan wrote, “This terrible thing [homelessness] was happening here, here in our country, here in our state, here in our city, here just around our neighborhood, or say, down the street. I feel that we need more people to step up and try to help these people. We need people to help Catholic Charities, that helps so many.”
Also speaking was Kedra Small, a Catholic Charities client who shared her experience in recovery with the Chemical Dependency Treatment program. Nearly two years sober now, Kedra was a successful attorney when addiction took over her personal life and professional career. She is now rebuilding her life. She recently gained employment and is actively working to regain her license to practice law.
“Catholic Charities’ Chemical Dependency Treatment Program helped save my life,” Small said.
Catholic Charities also announced Hope Day 2019, an online, communitywide day of giving, will be held on Friday, May 17 throughout the eight counties of Western New York to raise funds for the 2019 Appeal. The first $50,000, thanks to an anonymous donor, raised that day will be matched dollar-for-dollar in an effort to help achieve this year’s $11 million goal.