Scenes from the workshop: top from left, Client Speaker Marybeth White; volunteer attendees; bottom from left: Hero of Hope recipient Mary Powers, lead volunteer of the St. Mary of Lourdes Visiting and Respite Care Ministry Program, with Deacon Steve Schumer, president and CEO of Catholic Charities; Catholic Charities Board of Trustees Vice-chair Patricia Fogerty reflects on Catholic Charities' services.
About 25 parish volunteers, clergy, and Catholic Charities’ staff attended a volunteer training workshop Saturday, Jan. 25, to help kick off Appeal 2020 for Catholic Charities in Chautauqua County.
The event was held at the St. Mary of Lourdes Church in preparation for the 96th annual campaign, which carries a goal of $10 million. The patron saint for Appeal 2020 is Saint Joseph. Working under the theme “Think of Me,” Appeal volunteers from Chautauqua County will begin reaching out to individuals and businesses in the community to encourage their support of the Appeal, which helps fund Catholic Charities’ 51 programs and services across dozens of sites in Western New York, along with a number of programs and ministries through the Fund for the Faith.
“Funding is vital not only for Catholic Charities to continue its robust mission of serving those most in need in Western New York, but for the Fund for the Faith to provide its important ministries for parishioners in our diocese,” said Rick Cronin, chair of Appeal 2020. “This marks our 96th Appeal, and we know that we couldn’t have come this far without prayers, dedicated volunteers and generous donors. As we begin our climb to $10 million, we will once again rely on this combination, and will remain committed to ensuring that Catholic Charities is a beacon of hope for those in need in Chautauqua County.”
During the workshop, a video message from the Most Reverend Edward Scharfenberger, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Buffalo was shared expressing his thanks and admiration for all that the Appeal volunteers are doing to make this year’s campaign a success.
A Hero of Hope Partner Award was also presented to Mary Powers, lead volunteer, and all the volunteers for the St. Mary of Lourdes Visiting and Respite Care Ministry Program in Chautauqua County, which is directed under Catholic Charities’ Parish Outreach Program.
Eileen Nowak, director of Catholic Charities’ Department of Parish Outreach and Advocacy, said, “At present there are 31 very dedicated volunteers for this particular outreach program. Their combined efforts average a total of 170 hours a month. This equates to over 1,500 hours a year to help reduce the loneliness of over 300 Chautauqua County seniors. Mary Powers is the lead volunteer for this program and has been kind enough to be the keeper of the facts and figures. She does an incredible job ensuring this program is not only successful but thriving. We at Catholic Charities could not have this amazing presence and affect the hundreds of seniors we do without the zeal, dedication and compassion of these volunteers. They’re just incredible.”
Also, client Marybeth White shared how she benefitted from Catholic Charities’ counseling.
Catholic Charities provided assistance which impacted more than 160,000 individuals, Catholics and non-Catholics alike during the past year, including nearly 15,000 individuals in Chautauqua County. Donors from Chautauqua County contributed $258,288 to the 2019 Appeal.
Catholic Charities provides a wide range of services in Chautauqua County. These services include basic assistance; counseling for individuals, couples and families; Domestic Violence Offenders program; Our Kids Parent Education and Awareness Program; St. Mary of Lourdes Visiting & Respite Care Ministry Program; senior services and the WIC program. Catholic Charities offices in Chautauqua County are located at 425 Main St., Dunkirk and 42 Dunham Ave., Jamestown, in addition to four WIC sites.
The Fund for the Faith has supported the spiritual needs of WNY Catholics since 1937 through Campus Ministry, Hospital and Nursing Home Ministry, Deaf Ministry, and Youth and Young Adult Ministry, among a number of other ministries.
Appeal Sunday will take place April 5 throughout the eight counties of Western New York to celebrate the support of those who have made contributions to the Appeal, and to encourage those who have not already donated to do so. Volunteers will continue to work to achieve the $10 million goal until the conclusion of Appeal 2020 on June 30.