Catholic Charities launches 2013 Appeal

BUFFALO – The Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo, recently announced a $10.7 million goal for the 2013 Appeal in support of Catholic Charities of Buffalo. Bishop Malone made the announcement at the Monsignor Carr Clinic, a mental health outpatient treatment services center run by Catholic Charities on Rich Street in Buffalo.

The 89th annual campaign launched with a $100,000 increase over last year’s $10.6 million goal, which the organization achieved. Bishop Malone also named Blessed Frederic Ozanam the patron of the Appeal.

Working under the theme “Protect. Strengthen. Empower.,” more than 600 Appeal volunteers will begin to reach out to individuals and businesses in the Western New York community to encourage their support of the 70 myriad programs offered by Catholic Charities the most comprehensive human services provider serving the region’s eight counties.

“Inspired by the three core principles central to the work of Catholic Charities, this theme articulates how our efforts benefit the community and those who turn to us for help,” Bishop Malone said. “The theme also magnifies the link between the generosity of our donors and the results of our efforts.”

Funds raised through the 2013 Appeal will help fund Catholic Charities’ programs across 61 sites in WNY. Appeal Week 2013 will take place March 17 through 24 to celebrate the support of Western New Yorkers who have made a contribution to the Appeal, and encourage those who have not already donated to do so.

Although Appeal Week marks the strongest push for donations, volunteers will be working to achieve the final goal throughout the coming months, and if necessary, until the conclusion of Catholic Charities’ fiscal year on June 30.

Among the many services benefiting from the Appeal include behavioral health services, food pantries, basic relief services, counseling for individuals, children and families, and the refugee assistance program.

The Monsignor Carr Clinic, site of the news conference, provides mental health assessment, counseling and treatment to children and adults, and outreach treatment in the home for those eligible. The Rich Street location, one of two primary clinic sites in Buffalo, is housed at a repurposed convent on the site of the former St. Mary of Sorrows parish and serves 800 clients each year.

The two Buffalo clinics are part of comprehensive behavioral health services provided by Catholic Charities in Erie and Niagara counties. Chemical dependency outpatient treatment services are provided to adolescents and adults (including individuals with a mental illness diagnosis) at the Humboldt Parkway site. Three sites in Niagara County (Lockport, Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda) offer the only clinics in that county dedicated to children’s mental health treatment. Five satellite locations in Erie County also offer outpatient mental health treatment to children and adults.

Dennis Walczyk, Catholic Charities chief executive officer, described the Rich Street Monsignor Carr Clinic as a boon for the agency’s behavioral health services.

“This former convent has created a larger, inviting and accessible location for our clients,” said Walczyk. “The number of clients we serve now has grown significantly in the few years since its 2009 move. The therapists here carry a caseload of more than 800 clients, versus about 500 clients at the previous location. They conduct about 1,100 visits per month.”

Walczyk and Bishop Malone, who begins his first Appeal as bishop of Buffalo, were joined by Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities. Sister Mary shared examples of how Catholic Charities’ programs impact the people they serve and underlined the importance of donations of any size.

“Catholic Charities protects seniors from isolation and need,” Sister Mary said. “We strengthen couples who have benefited from our marriage counseling provided at two dedicated centers in Erie County. We empower individuals and families through our Immigration and Refugee Assistance program.”

“When you give to the 2013 Appeal, whether a small or large gift, it is a work of love and kindness that will long be remembered,” she said.

Sister Mary also introduced Stephen Ulrich, owner of Granite Spine, LLC, as Chair of the 2013 Appeal.

Ulrich referenced the challenges Catholic Charities must overcome each year to achieve its goal and highlighted some positive results. He said he expects the corporate gifts division to grow and possibly reach $1 million in donations this year. He also pointed out the average gift at the parish level continues to increase and is now the highest in Appeal history.

“Despite donor loss driven by demographic trends, we still have 60,000 donors to this annual campaign. That’s a remarkable number,” said Ulrich. “This year, we’ll continue to reach out to the younger generation of potential donors and spread the message of Catholic Charities’ mission and its role as the charity in WNY.”

Both Ulrich and Sister Mary applauded the commitment and dedication of the hundreds of Appeal volunteers and thanked them for their efforts to help Catholic Charities continue to protect, strengthen and empower the 130,000 people the organization served last year.

Joining Ulrich on the Appeal Leadership Team are Michael and Maureen Pratt, Vice Chairs and Large Gift/Leadership Gifts Chairs, Rick Cronin, Parish Chair, Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Mattimore, Community Chair, and Corporate Chairs Anthony Delmonte, Jr., Kathy Lawley Best and William Lawley, Jr.

Reflecting on the importance of donations to the annual Appeal, Bishop Malone recalled the words of Appeal patron Blessed Frederic Ozanam, who co-founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

“I am proud to be in a position to lead such a generous diocese,” Bishop Malone said. “While I am profoundly grateful for your past support, I am reminded of the words of Blessed Frederic, who said, ‘Charity must never look to the past, but always to the future.’ As such, I humbly ask for your continued support and financial assistance as we embark on Appeal 2013.”

Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, we deliver support to meet immediate needs and then assess for other needs to ensure long-term success. We are the most comprehensive human service provider serving more than 130,000 people in all eight counties of WNY with 70 programs and 61 locations. We receive highest ratings for quality of service provided and financial health/accountability as rated by the Council on Accreditation and Charity Navigator. For 89 years, Catholic Charities has been making a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity in WNY.

For more information on Appeal 2013 or to make a donation, contact Catholic Charities at 218-1400 or go to www.ccwny.org. Check out Catholic Charities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccbuffalo and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ccbuffalo.