Catholic Charities of Buffalo has begun its 2013 Appeal with a $10.7 million goal.
The Most Rev. Richard J. Malone, bishop of Buffalo, kicked off the campaign recently 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 2012's $10.6 million goal, which the organization achieved. Malone also named Blessed Frederic Ozanam the patron of the appeal.
Bishop Richard Malone shakes hands with Stephen Ulrich, 2013 Appeal chair, in front of the goal they will try to reach, $10.7 million dollars.
Working under the theme "Protect. Strengthen. Empower.," more than 600 volunteers will begin to reach out to individuals and businesses in Western New York to support of the 70 myriad programs offered by Catholic Charities.
"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," Malone said. "The theme also magnifies the link between the generosity of our donors and the results of our efforts."
Money raised through the 2013 Appeal will help pay for Catholic Charities' programs across 61 sites in Western New York. Appeal Week 2013 will take place March 17 through March 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 services benefiting from the appeal are behavioral health services, food pantries, basic relief services, counseling for individuals, children and families and the refugee assistance program.
Stephen Ulrich, owner of Granite Spine LLC, is chairman 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."
Catholic Charities serves more than 130,000 people in all eight counties of Western New York with 70 programs and 61 locations. For more information on Appeal 2013 or to make a donation, call 218-1400 or visit www.ccwny.org.