The staff and volunteers of Catholic Charities stood optimistic about reaching their $10.6 million goal. Although at the close Appeal Week 2012, $8.8 million had been raised, that figure is a 5.9 percent increase from this time last year.
“It bodes well for the future and the completion of the appeal,” said Bishop Edward U. Kmiec at a press conference held April 3. “We celebrate this exceptional progress but still realize we have a way to go. Like the Buffalo Sabres who need a few more points and help from another team in order to make the Stanley Cup playoffs, our success is in the hands of our community. We know the generosity of Western New York and we believe they will respond with the additional funds in order to reach our goal.”
The campaign continues through June 30.
Sister Mary McCarrick, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, introduced Dr. Gloria Roetzer, who fulfilled her dream of becoming a pediatrician through Catholic Charities GED program.
As one of 13 children growing up in a single parent family in Lackawanna, Roetzer dropped out of high school in her senior year after becoming pregnant. “That’s where Catholic Charities first stepped in,” said Roetzer, who has served as president of the Diocese of Buffalo’s Physician’s Guild.
Catholic Charities helped not only with her GED studies, but also with her pregnancy needs.
“They helped me to not feel hopeless, to feel that there is support, there is someone to help you,” Roetzer said. “They took care of the physical needs and also the educational needs. It was an empowerment, encouraging to take the steps you need, give you hope to say there is a better future.”
Roetzer is just one example of the nearly 140,000 helped each year by Catholic Charities.
“It’s rewarding to hear about the many ways that Catholic Charities touches the lives of those who turn to us for help, and it’s great to learn more about the many successful and innovative efforts being utilized throughout our diocese in an effort to achieve our $10.6 million goal,” said Bishop Kmiec, who thanked the 750 appeal volunteers from all eight counties of Western New York. “All our appeal volunteers truly believe in our mission and they commit their time and efforts so that tens of thousands of people in the community can reach out to Catholic Charities for assistance when they need it most.”
The 88th annual appeal, which officially began Jan. 11, supports Catholic Charities’ programs and services across the region. The organization’s many outreach ministries benefiting from the appeal include its counseling programs, food pantries, immigration and refugee assistance program, efforts to fight domestic violence, education initiatives and other human services.
Appeal Week takes place in all parishes throughout Western New York through Palm Sunday. Parish volunteers encourage and coordinate fundraising efforts at weekend Masses in order to raise pledges.
David Nasca, this year’s appeal chairman, had a four-pronged approach to leading the appeal. He set out to educate the public on the works of Catholic Charities, seek new volunteers, engage new donors through programs such as “Get Real, Give Hope” and “Mission of Hope,” and reach out to more corporate donors.
“We talk about dollars, but it is really a people business,” Nasca said.
This 2012 appeal was conducted under the patronage of Blessed John Paul II and marks the 88th annual Catholic Charities Appeal.
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