BUFFALO Less than one month after Appeal Week 2013 ended, volunteers for the annual Appeal in support of Catholic Charities of Buffalo must raise $1 million more to reach this year's $10.7 million campaign goal. This week, the organization announced $9,738,391.31 has been raised in cash and pledges, representing 91 percent of the goal. Appeal officials said this is right on track with where the 2012 Appeal stood at this time last year.
Appeal Week 2013, held March 17-24, marked the strongest push for parish donations to support the myriad programs Catholic Charities offers, including behavioral health services, food pantries, basic relief services, the refugee assistance program, and counseling for individuals, children and families.
The 2013 Appeal ends June 30 and efforts to increase support from lapsed and new donors will continue in parishes, schools and the corporate community.
The Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, thanked the community for its generous response to the Appeal and asked for its continued support.
"We're very happy to announce the great progress we've made and I want to thank those who have contributed to this year's campaign so far, particularly our new donors," said Bishop Malone. "However, we still have a challenging road ahead of us to raise the $1 million that's absolutely vital to maintaining the 70 programs and services Catholic Charities offers 130,000 people in Western New York each year. I urge lapsed and potential donors to contribute and assist the most comprehensive human services provider in the region so it can continue to protect, strengthen and empower so many in our community."
Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, Catholic Charities diocesan director, pointed to one of the 44 parishes that have already exceeded their 2012 Appeal totals as a key driver of current progress.
"St. Joseph-University Church in Buffalo, always one of our very supportive parishes, has surpassed its 2012 total by nearly $29,000 and broke the $200,000 mark by contributing more than $204,000 so far this year," said Sister Mary. "We also recognize the growing efforts of the parish's youth ministry. At their fifth annual bowl-a-thon, parish youth raised $700. Credit certainly goes to an active parish team led by Father Jacob (Jack) Ledwon, pastor, and Appeal Chair Richard Baumann, as well as all of the pastoral staff and other volunteers. With similar results like these in parishes across our diocese, I'm confident our goal will soon be in sight."
St. Joseph-University Parish Appeal Chair Richard Baumann affirmed that the resources and tools provided by Catholic Charities continually help to generate a successful campaign.
"First, it is the people who donate that make this possible because they have always been very generous," said Baumann. "For the two weeks before the start of Appeal Week, we collected donations in our community room after every Mass and offered coffee and donuts. The first week, Father Jack (Ledwon) and Dennis (Walczyk, Catholic Charities CEO) did a special reading of the Gospel with an elaboration that went over very well. People responded."
The parish team also extensively used the Appeal banners, posters and other materials Catholic Charities provided.
Stephen Ulrich, 2013 Appeal chair, praised the efforts of Baumann and the 600 other Appeal volunteers who work to encourage donations throughout the eight-county diocese.
"Our progress so far is a testament to your diligence and dedication. As we enter the last 10 weeks of our campaign, we ask for your continued commitment as we make this final drive toward our critically important goal," he said. "I implore everyone, Catholics and non-Catholics, and our corporate community, to respond with a contribution to Catholic Charities for the benefit of their neighbors, friends, employees and local families."
Donations to the 2013 Appeal will be gratefully received from all members of the community through the Appeal's close on June 30.
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 from the Council on Accreditation and for financial health/accountability from Charity Navigator. For 89 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in WNY.
The patron of Appeal 2013 is Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a layman who co-founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
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.