With just over two weeks to go in the 2019 Appeal, Catholic Charities today recognized Charlie Joyce of Wellsville for his personal gift of $250,000, as well as his corporate gift of $100,000 from Otis Eastern Service LLC. At $350,000, this is the single largest personal and corporate donation in the 95-year history of the Appeal.
In a surprise gesture after the news conference, Charlie Joyce announced he “just pledged another $100,000 to match donations, preferably small donations, but whatever they want to do, to help close this gap and give us a jump start for the next couple weeks to help bring us over the campaign total.”
“This is a challenging year, but far too many in our community have come to rely on Catholic Charities when they have nowhere else to turn,” said Joyce, chairman of the board of Otis Eastern Service. “I personally invite others, who are able to give, to think of the people for whom this Appeal makes a difference and to support the 2019 Appeal. Every gift, no matter the amount, is important. My father was the one who taught me to share from my blessings, to help people in need. In fact, Father’s Day is nearly here and it’s a perfect opportunity to honor our fathers for all they instilled in us.”
Joyce has been a longtime benefactor of the Appeal, which supports Catholic Charities and the Fund for the Faith, and the community at large. In 2012, his donation made possible the establishment of the Catholic Charities Wellsville Food Pantry and Outreach. The community was underserved and Joyce stepped forward to help when asked. Earlier this year he made a $10,000 donation directly to the pantry.
In recognition of his ongoing generosity, Catholic Charities will be renaming the site to the Joyce Family Food Pantry and Outreach later this year. The pantry has served more than 2,000 individuals and nearly 900 families since it launched, and many more have received clothing and supplies from the Thrift Store which opened in 2016.
“Charlie has generously supported the Appeal year after year, both personally and corporately through his company and on behalf of all of us at Catholic Charities, we are overwhelmed by and very grateful for this gift,” said Dennis C. Walczyk, president and CEO, Catholic Charities. “While we cannot individually thank all our donors in this way, we are truly grateful for the continued generosity we have received for the 2019 Appeal. This is a sizeable shortfall compared with previous years at this time, but we cannot afford to lose hope. We urge Western New Yorkers to step up to help put food on the table of a family struggling with medical bills, support counseling for a child who has experienced trauma, and provide day care for a frail senior and respite for her caregiver.”
Currently, the 2019 Appeal has raised $8.9 million ($8,917,414.71) or 81% of this year’s $11 million goal since it began in January. Donations can be made securely online at ccwny.org/donation or by calling 716-218-1400 through June 30.
“The fact remains that more than 150,000 of our most vulnerable neighbors across Western New York rely on the programs and services provided by Catholic Charities,” said Appeal Co-Chair John Daly. “Thank you to Charlie for your unwavering support in helping to get us closer to our 2019 Appeal goal. Western New Yorkers are generous and compassionate, and we hope that they continue to give hope to our neighbors who need it most through the support of the 2019 Appeal.”
The annual Appeal helps fund 70 programs and services administered by Catholic Charities across 61 sites in the eight counties of Western New York, along with a number of programs and ministries that benefit all parishes through the Fund for the Faith. The theme of this year’s Appeal is “Help Your Neighbor Find Hope” and the patron saint is St. Faustina.