Appeal Week culminates with $8.58M raised

BUFFALO – The Most Reverend Richard J. Malone, bishop of the Diocese of Buffalo, made his second announcement on the progress of the annual Catholic Charities of Buffalo Appeal today, revealing $8,584,590.57 has been raised to date, as Catholic Charities officials marked the close of Appeal Week 2013.

The annual campaign runs through June 30 and carries a goal of $10.7 million. Today’s total represents 80.2 percent of the final goal, which is trending behind last year at this time when 83 percent of goal was reached. Funds raised for Appeal 2013 support Catholic Charities’ 70 programs and services offered across 61 sites throughout the eight-county region.

During Appeal Week, volunteers led a concerted effort to gather donations in parishes across Western New York the weekends of March 16-17 and March 23-24.

Bishop Malone emphasized the importance of the Appeal to the continuation of the vital, and often life-sustaining, programs Catholic Charities offers. He also reflected on the recent installation of Pope Francis and how we are responsible to protect with love all that God has created.

“Pope Francis spoke so beautifully about the vocation of being a ‘protector’ to all of God’s creation, from the environment, to one another,” said Bishop Malone. “He specifically called on each of us to show love and concern for every person, especially children, the elderly and all those in need. It was almost as if he had seen one of our posters for the 2013 Appeal!”

One of those individuals protected and strengthened by Catholic Charities is 18-year-old Chelsea Kaylor. Kaylor left high school during her sophomore year after her son, Jeremiah, was born. She shared how Catholic Charities helped her earn her GED, attend career-training classes and enroll in college. Kaylor is now on the path to earning her associate’s degree at Bryant & Stratton College with a 4.0 grade point average.

“Education is everything and without it you are nothing close to being what you can be. Please open your eyes and seek opportunities to get your education today. There are so many people willing to help, all you have to do is reach out and let your voice be heard,” explained Kaylor. “I hope you can see that helping Catholic Charities will give young people like me a new start and hope for our future.”

Stephen Ulrich, 2013 Appeal chair, spoke about the importance of hearing stories like Chelsea Kaylor’s to fully comprehend the impact of Catholic Charities. Regarding the challenge ahead to raise the remaining funds to reach the goal, Ulrich emphasized the need to boost corporate donations and curb donor loss, a natural result of an aging population and people leaving the area, between now and the end of the Appeal. He expressed gratitude to the clients who have stepped forward to share their stories and the volunteers who have given their time to this Appeal.

“Efforts to share the mission of Catholic Charities and gain new donors particularly younger donors and to grow our corporate, parish and community divisions would not be possible without the steadfast commitment of our 600 volunteers,” he said. “I would like to thank all of them for their hard work throughout Appeal Week and their continued efforts to propel us to our goal by June 30.”

Ulrich also joined Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, in encouraging people who have not yet donated to step forward and help the organization reach its goal so it can continue offering the 70 programs and services it provides people of all walks of life.

“I strongly urge our corporate institutions, parishioners and community members to consider how a gift, of any size, can benefit their employees, customers, friends and neighbors, and give as generously as possible to the Appeal to enable us to reach our goal,” said Ulrich.

Sister Mary added, “Although we know this is an early Easter this year and plenty of snowbirds have not returned to make their gift, it is clear that we need to pick up the pace of this Appeal. We must close this gap if we are to achieve our ultimate goal of $10.7 million. People like Chelsea, and 130,000 more, depend on us for hope and a path to better life. Please donate today by calling us at 716-218-1400 or donating online at ccwny.org.”

Donations to the 2013 Appeal will be gratefully received from all members of the community, Catholic and non-Catholic, through the Appeal’s close on June 30.

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.

The patron of Appeal 2013 is Blessed Frederic Ozanam, a layman who co-founded the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

For more information on Appeal 2013 or to make a donation, contact Catholic Charities at (716) 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.