BUFFALO, N.Y., April 19, 2011 –(release) Catholic Charities officials celebrated the progress of the 2011 Appeal following the close of Appeal Week, during which volunteers led a concerted effort to gather donations in parishes throughout Western New York.
The Most Rev. Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, announced the Appeal has raised $8,324,352.55 in cash and pledges as of Monday night, April 18, totaling 79.3 percent of the $10.5 million goal.
Bishop Kmiec thanked the 750-plus volunteers for their efforts and their continued commitment to the Catholic Charities Appeal.
Two volunteers in particular were recognized for the significant difference they have made for the Appeal in their respective parishes—one a 65-year Appeal veteran and the other a newer volunteer who reignited his parish’s efforts and oversaw a nearly 20 percent increase in the parish’s contributions from 2009 to 2010.
Bonnie Werdein, now Appeal chair of St. Michael Parish in Buffalo, shared that she began assisting the Appeal in 1946 when she helped the youth serve roast beef dinner to Appeal workers in 1946 at her parish, St. Boniface, also in Buffalo. Tom Muldowney, Appeal chair of St. Anthony Parish in Fredonia for the second year, talked about his appreciation for the new technology available now that helps him fit his Appeal efforts into a busy schedule. He also credited his parish of generous donors and talked about an emphasis on gaining new donors, $5 at a time.
“All of [our volunteers] really believe in this work, and they sacrifice time away from their loved ones so tens of thousands of people in our community can turn to Catholic Charities for assistance when they need it most,” Bishop Kmiec said.
While he called for a celebration of the Appeal’s exceptional progress, Bishop Kmiec acknowledged the task ahead to reach the final $10.5 million goal and implored the community to continue its generous support.
“…We need a commitment from our community and from those in our parishes to step forward and make a gift of any size. This is my final public ask and it is truly urgent that you consider making a commitment today on behalf of someone you know who has been helped financially by Catholic Charities, someone who has been counseled by Catholic Charities or simply someone in need. When you make that commitment, I believe it will make a difference for you, too.”
Greg Maher, 2011 Appeal Chair, spoke about the impact of each donation to the Appeal and the programs and services Catholic Charities offers.
“Every donation counts and every gift to Catholic Charities, large or small, advances us closer to our $10.5 million goal,” he said. “One small sacrifice can give hope for so many. Consider this: it costs $3.13 to supply a meal for one family of four. Through a donation of just $25, you can supply a meal for eight families.”
Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, explained the importance of reaching the goal, as some Catholic Charities programs could experience cuts should the necessary funds not be raised.
“[It’s] critical that we can continue to be there whoever, wherever and whenever in our Western New York community,” she said.
“Part of the vast and various kinds of services we provide is something that is often seen as the ‘emergency room for human service.’ It is a service unique among fellow human service organizations, but one that is dependent on the Appeal for its existence. Never doubt the need, however, as about 11,000 individuals walk through our doors on Washington Street each year seeking such help.”
Donations to the Appeal can be made through Diocese of Buffalo parishes or directly to Catholic Charities. Donations and pledges are accepted at Catholic Charities headquarters at 741 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo; by calling 218-1400 or via its secure website at www.ccwny.org.
Catholic Charities is the most comprehensive direct human service provider serving all eight counties of Western New York, with 70 programs and 61 locations. Founded in 1923, Catholic Charities also provides, without regard to religious affiliation, comprehensive counseling services for children and families, anti-domestic violence programming and emergency services, among other social and mental health services.
The goal for the 2011 Appeal is $10.5 million and is under the patronage of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. For more information on the 2011 Appeal or to make a donation, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to www.ccwny.org.