BUFFALO, N.Y. -(WKBW-TV)
The Most Rev. Edward U. Kmiec, Bishop of Buffalo, today announced a $10.5 million goal for the 2011 Appeal in support of Catholic Charities of Buffalo.
The theme of this year’s Appeal is again, “Whoever. Wherever. Whenever.” because Catholic Charities is always there, providing help for people of all faiths and walks of life when they need it most.
Appeal Week 2011 will take place April 10-17, though the Appeal will continue through the end of the fiscal year (June 30). Appeal Week will celebrate the support of Western New Yorkers who have made a contribution to the Appeal, and encourage those who have not already donated to do so.
Bishop Kmiec made the announcement from the Lackawanna Food Pantry at 75 Caldwell Place—one of four food pantries Catholic Charities of Buffalo operates. In 2010, these food pantries provided enough bags of food for
213,717 meals to nearly 23,000 individuals.
Bishop Kmiec remarked on the fragility of our nation’s economy and the loss government funding for some of Catholic Charities’ services, but expressed optimism for the Appeal’s success.
“We remain in the midst of a deep economic down turn. Recovery at the national level, fragile at best, is virtually non-existent locally.
According to U.S. Census figures, Buffalois now the third-poorest city in the nation,” said Bishop Kmiec. “Despite the challenges we face, I am inspired by the incredible commitment of the Appeal leadership team and our many supporters. I have found in our diocese a marvelous and extraordinary spirit of giving and service to others.”
The Bishop was joined by Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, who introduced Greg Maher as chairperson of the
2011 Appeal and recognized the other members of the Appeal leadership team and volunteers.
Appeal Chair Greg Maher praised the immense generosity of Western New Yorkers through the last few years of tough economic conditions. He also stressed the importance of both individual and corporate donations to the Appeal, citing that one in 10 Western New Yorkers receives assistance from Catholic Charities.
“Last year Catholic Charities donations nationwide were down 10 percent.
In Buffalo, we missed the 2009 mark by only one-half of one percent,”
said Maher. “As another show of the community of good neighbors, corporate donations last year actually increased by more than two percent.”
“This year we again appeal to both individuals and our strong corporate base to continue their support of the Catholic Charities and help spread the word about what Catholic Charities offers nearly 160,000 Western New Yorkers each year,” he continued.
Other members of the leadership team include David Nasca, vice chair, Stephen Ulrich, parish and large gifts chair and Anthony Delmonte, corporate gifts chair.
Sister Mary McCarrick outlined some of Catholic Charities’ more than 70 programs and services, including its job readiness programs for teens, childhood educational programs focused onbehavior and homebound-senior visitation services.
“It has been one year since I began in this role and I can tell you emphatically that the work being done in our 61 offices and 70 programs is a work of mercy,” Sister Mary said. “I know this because wherever and whenever I go – in the airport, in one of our offices or in a store someone approaches me to share the positive impact of Catholic Charities’ work. I’ve met mothers grateful for healing therapy for their children, a judge extolling the virtues of our staff in helping families and children, and someone thankful for the hand that pulled them up in a crisis.”
Dennis C. Walczyk, Catholic Charities chief executive officer, talked about the need that is seen at the Lackawanna Food Pantry site and the other food pantries Catholic Charities offers.
Walczyk said, “Sister Peg Gallagher, coordinator of the Lackawanna Pantry, and Larry Burns, coordinator of the South Buffalo Pantry, and their dedicated volunteers who serve twice a week for each pantry have seen and heard firsthand the struggles of our clients. Many who come here may be out of work for extended periods of time and many other individuals struggle financially in low-paying jobs.”
He continued, “The staff and volunteers of all of Catholic Charities’
four food pantries, including the Fulton Street- St. Brigid Pantry, can attest to the growing need of our food recipients – in 2010 the four food pantries distributed bags of food to provide 213,717 meals to 23,000 individuals. And last month alone, the Lackawanna and South Buffalo pantries distributed 14,304 pounds of food to 578 households.
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 2011 Appeal is under the patronage of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.