This is the 98th Annual Catholic Charities Appeal and Emily Lampa spoke with Deacon Steve Schumer, president and CEO, Catholic Charities. This year’s goal is 9.5 million dollars. Deacon Steve says as of now they have raised just over 6 million dollars towards the goal, and this is very encouraging. He says we are doing a little bit better than last year due to our dedicated team of volunteers.
Deacon Steve says the title is confusing; they think Catholic Charities serves only Catholics. He says nothing can be farther than the truth; we serve everyone, we don’t even ask people what their faith tradition is, if any.
Last year Catholic Charities provided assistance to over 125,000 people all across the 8 counties of Western New York. Deacon Steve says we provide basic assistance like food and housing, we have emergency assistance for people having financial difficulty and, in a pinch, work force and development programs, senior services, services for family stability, behavioral health and we operate nine food pantries across the footprint as well, so that’s a real broad overview, 57 programs and 80 locations.
Deacon Steve says the serve both children, adults, and families in the behavioral health clinics. He says food need may be the thing that presents itself immediately, but we rarely find someone who just needs only one thing. He says if something is going wrong in your life you might immediately need food, but you need food because you don’t’ have a job or because there is an issue with behavioral substance abuse, or domestic violence or any number of things. He says that’s what we strive to do, to meet people where they are, find out how we can help you immediately, but then how can we help you move forward in your life so that down the road you are on your own feet, you’re able to provide for yourself and your family and you’re in a better place. He says when we give someone a box of food, yes there is rice and beans and pasta, but there is also hope in that box of food that tomorrow will be better than yesterday.
Deacon Steve says they are there year-round, providing help and says we come out for the appeal once a year in order to keep the mission going but, please, if you or someone you know needs any of the things I mentioned or even something I didn’t mention and you think we may be able to help you, give us a call.
For more information go to ccwny.org or give them a call at 716-218-1400.
The helpline number is 716-218-1419