The Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, provided his report on the progress of the annual Catholic Charities of Buffalo Appeal today, revealing $8,028,684.29 has been raised to date, as Catholic Charities officials marked the close of Appeal Week 2016.
Today's total represents 73 percent of the final goal, which is trending slightly behind last year at this time when 78.4 percent of goal was reached. Funds raised for Appeal 2016 support Catholic Charities' 70 programs and services offered across 61 sites throughout the eight-county region, and the Bishop's Fund for the Faith, which supports related ministries of the Diocese of Buffalo. The annual campaign runs through June 30 and carries a goal of $11 million.
During Appeal Week, which ran from March 13-20, parish volunteers and pastors across Western New York led a concerted effort to gather donations, and participated in fundraising activities in order to bring the Appeal closer to its final goal.
Bishop Malone thanked the hundreds of parish, corporate and community division volunteers, and pastors who were back in action, helping to raise funds that will allow Catholic Charities to continue to impact the lives of more than 132,000 Western New Yorkers; Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
In addition, Bishop Malone asked that the community keep the momentum going, "The second Book of Chronicles in the Old Testament reminds us to 'be strong and not give up, for our work will be rewarded.' As our Appeal continues through June 30 we will press on in the days and weeks ahead to achieve our goal, and to provide hope for all those who turn to Catholic Charities for assistance."
Nick and Nicole Tzetzo, 2016 Appeal chairs, thanked all those involved for their generosity.
Nick said, "We are very grateful for all of the support and donations from individuals, corporations, schools and parish organizations. Although we are behind where we were last year, we are confident we can find good within to help Catholic Charities reach its $11 million goal."
Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, encouraged people who have not yet donated to contribute and help the organization reach its goal.
"We are so appreciative of our current progress and the thousands of gifts this number represents," said Sister Mary. "As we all know we cannot stop here. We need to keep up our pace and hear from others who have not yet taken the time to respond to the growing need this year through a contribution or a pledge. Every pledge and donation of any size is appreciated."
Jim Trimper and Bill Herberger, two long-time Appeal parish volunteers, were also recognized as Legacy Volunteers for serving the Appeal for a collective 130 years. Jim, chair of the 2016 Appeal at St. Pius X parish in Getzville, has volunteered for 60 years in two parishes, and Bill has been a volunteer in two parishes for 70 years, including St. Pius X.
Jim said, "I started as a teen-ager helping my father collect at St. Elizabeth parish in Black Rock in Buffalo. I just feel it is a worthy cause helping the people of the Diocese; it keeps me coming back."
The theme for the 2016 Appeal is "Find Good Within" and the patron saint of the 92nd annual Appeal is St. Nicholas.
Members of this year's volunteer leadership team include Gerard and Barbara Mazurkiewicz, vice chairs; Kellie Ulrich, community division chair; John and Suzanne Berger, corporate chairs; and Rick Cronin, parish chair.
Since its founding in 1923, Catholic Charities has helped individuals and families in need. That need is varied and widespread - from emergency assistance to counseling and from specialized services for the elderly to help with job training and education.
As the most comprehensive human service provider in Western New York, Catholic Charities makes a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity. Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs, and then assess its clients for other needs to ensure long-term success.
Catholic Charities is an excellent steward of the contributions it receives. The Better Business Bureau Foundation of Upstate New York recently named the organization the winner of the 2015 Torch Award for Philanthropic Excellence. The award recognizes nonprofits that employ practices which generate a high level of trust among employees, donors and communities.
Catholic Charities also receives the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management.
Catholic Charities also receives the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.
To make a donation or learn more about Appeal 2016, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 218-1400 or go to www.ccwny.org. You can also check out Catholic Charities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccbuffalo and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ccbuffalo.