by Rose Caldwell
Catholic Charities of Buffalo Friday afternoon hosted a luncheon gathering with Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) Executive Director Ralph McCloud, and VOICE Buffalo and Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope (NOAH) members. The luncheon meeting held at the Catholic Charities Montante Administrative Center on Delaware Avenue in Buffalo was part of McCloud’s day-long visit to agencies and ministries in Buffalo and Niagara Falls to learn about the impact of CCHD grant funds on the local organizing groups.
CCHD is an anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has supported VOICE Buffalo, NOAH and PUSH Buffalo.
VOICE Buffalo draws together people of many denominations and income levels to act powerfully on local, regional, state and national issues of justice and equity through community-building, negotiation with decision-makers, and direct action. As an urban-suburban coalition in Niagara County, NOAH aspires to be interracial, interfaith and interconnected, and for more than 16 years has been organizing with congregations and organizations to create lasting social change in the areas of poverty, housing, public education and public transportation.
McCloud, after accepting an appreciation award from the two organizations, thanked the groups for their work in Western New York.
“Thank you for the work you all do,” said McCloud. “It has been good to see the fingerprints of CCHD on the efforts here and to see the work you all are doing to empower low income people.”
He said it mirrors signs of hope he sees all over the country, recounting projects in Chicago, Florida and other areas that are having a positive impact on communities.
During the luncheon, Catholic Charities CEO Dennis C. Walczyk welcomed McCloud and all of the guests, some who came from as far as Rochester and Syracuse to attend. Catholic Charities Diocesan Director and Sister Mary McCarrick, gave a report on Western New York CCHD support and disbursements as the diocesan director of CCHD in the Buffalo diocese.