Appeal 2022 launches, Catholic Charities sets $9.5 million goal
Catholic Charities of Buffalo announced the goal for Appeal 2022 on Jan. 19. Funds raised for Catholic Charities and the Bishop’s Fund for the Faith will go to provide critical programs and services to more than 125,000 people throughout Western New York.
The $9.5 million goal, $500,000 less than last year’s goal, was chosen as an obtainable total that can still meet the growing needs of Western New York, while understanding the realities of the Covid pandemic.
“This new goal strikes a balance as it is more than the appeal raised last year, but lower than last year’s goal,” explained Thomas Beecher Jr., co-chair of Appeal 2022. “With the pandemic still a driving force, the goal recognizes the challenge of raising such a significant amount of money in today’s environment, and it affirms the ongoing need for the critical programs and services Catholic Charities provides.”
New efforts have already begun on behalf of the appeal. Through an invitation to major gift donors of the past, $1.1 million, about 12 percent of the goal, has already been raised.
“What is also clear is that there continues to be great need in our communities, and many new ones created by this prolonged pandemic,” said Bishop Michael W. Fisher. “We all know someone who has been deeply affected by Covid. The personal loss experienced by so many has been tragic and the financial hardship it has caused is very real. People we know and so many others in our communities rely on and turn to Catholic Charities each and every day, as one of the most comprehensive social service agencies of our region. The ministries carried out by Catholic Charities, and those which the Fund for the Faith also makes possible are a true gift to individuals and families of every walk of life.
“When you think about it, there’s really no option for Christians and Catholics when faced with a person or family in need,” the bishop continued. “We must do whatever we can to lend a helping hand, provide a word and gesture of comfort, to ensure that their most basic needs are provided for. The clear lesson that Jesus gave his Disciples as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel must ring constantly in our ears: ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’”
Catholic Charities reports that the annual appeal helps fund 57 programs and services administered by Catholic Charities across 80 locations, along with several ministries that benefit all parishes through the Fund for the Faith. Catholic Charities is the most comprehensive human services provider serving people of all faiths across all eight counties of Western New York.
“The appeal allows Catholic Charities to use the money where its needed most from providing basic needs and emergency assistance for clients to filling the gap for counseling sessions,” said Nancy Nielsen, MD, Ph.D., co-chair. “Your support provides hope to so many of our neighbors of all ages and faiths year-round.”
Last year, 125,000 people were served through food pantries, educational and vocational advancement services, family safety and stabilization services, immigration and refugee assistance, mental health and substance abuse treatment, and youth and family support services.
“As Catholic Charities continues our work to support people in all seasons of life, we remain committed to upholding our values of serving others with dignity, respect and compassion,” said Deacon Steve Schumer, president and CEO, Catholic Charities of Western New York.
This year’s appeal will run through June 30 with the theme of “Hope.” The patron saint is Mother Teresa of Calcutta, chosen as a modern saint that many have seen either on television or in person.
“She loved deeply and cared greatly for those whom society had cast aside and others preferred to overlook. She was concerned for the most basic of needs regardless of their background and believed that every person was vested with dignity that God alone bestowed and which could not be denied. She saw all as children of God and worthy of respect, and most of all, love. It was that simple and yet heroic,” the bishop said. Donors can now give through PayPal and Apple Pay at www.wnycc.org, by texting Give Hope 22 to 44321 or by scanning the QR code found on Appeal materials.