by Kaitlin Jackson
About 70 parish volunteers, clergy, and Catholic Charities’ Appeal leadership team and staff attended a volunteer training workshop on Jan. 26 to help kick off the 2019 Appeal in support of Catholic Charities in Niagara County.
The event was held at Immaculate Conception Church in Ransomville in preparation for the annual campaign, which carries a goal of $11 million. The patron saint for the 2019 Appeal is Saint Faustina. Working under the theme “Help your neighbor find hope,” Appeal volunteers from Niagara County will begin reaching out to individuals and businesses in the community to encourage their support of the Appeal, which helps fund Catholic Charities’ 70 programs and services across 61 sites in Western New York, along with a number of programs and ministries through the Fund for the Faith.
“Funding is critically important in Catholic Charities’ efforts to continue providing programs and services to our most vulnerable neighbors across Western New York,” said John and Ruthanne Daly, 2019 Appeal general chairs. “Achieving this year’s goal takes a significant amount of hard work and commitment by our parish volunteers, but with our collective strength and support, we can ensure that the communities of Niagara County can continue to turn to Catholic Charities for help.”
During the workshop, a Hero of Hope Partner Award was presented to Lynn Siegfried, president of St. John de LaSalle Community Care in Niagara Falls. Siegfried was selected for her dedication in serving those in need in the community.
Kathleen Hall, Niagara County director for Catholic Charities, said, “In her commitment to serve others, we have witnessed her actively going above and beyond to insure individuals and families have their basic needs met. She will deliver food to those unable to leave their homes and she has helped others not only find housing but has assisted them in moving. She truly lives the mission of the church in caring for those in need.”
In addition, former client Michael Johnson shared how the Catholic Charities’ basic assistance program supported him with one month’s rent.
Catholic Charities provided assistance which impacted more than 152,000 individuals, Catholics and non-Catholics alike during the past year, including more than 21,000 individuals in Niagara County. Donors from Niagara County contributed $990,594 to the 2018 Appeal.
Catholic Charities provides a wide range of services in Niagara County at sites in Niagara Falls, North Tonawanda and Lockport. These services include basic assistance; counseling for individuals, couples and families; Monsignor Carr Institute Children’s Mental Health Clinics; Women Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program; Domestic Violence Offenders program; Our Kids: Parent Education and Awareness Program to help separated/divorced parents deal with custody and co-parenting concerns; Workforce and Education services; and Multisystemic Therapy program for at-risk teens and their families.
Catholic Charities’ offices are located at two sites in Niagara Falls, 620 Tronolone Place and 625 Tronolone Place; three in Lockport, Bewley Building, Market at Main, Suites 200, 300 and 450; one in North Tonawanda, 1465 Payne Ave.; and a stand-alone WIC site in Lewiston, 5228 Walmore Road.
This year’s Appeal Week will take place April 7 – 14 throughout the eight counties of Western New York to celebrate the support of those who have made contributions to the Appeal, and to encourage those who have not already donated to do so. Volunteers will continue to work to achieve the final goal until the conclusion of the 2019 Appeal on June 30.