Catholic Charities of Buffalo, NY, the most comprehensive human service provider serving the eight counties of Western New York without regard to religion, race or age, understands that the best hope for the future is optimum emotional, mental and physical health for all.
Catholic Charities works to empower individuals, children and families to achieve and maintain meaningful and healthy lives within their communities. As a primary advocate for those in need, particularly the most vulnerable and those without a voice, Catholic Charities assesses and meets specific needs of our community members. The expertise and compassion of its staff, a continued focus on positive outcomes and the ability to change as needs change are agency hallmarks.
Each dollar contributed to the Annual Appeal leverages an additional $3 to $4 of government support and contracts for the work of Catholic Charities.
How is Catholic Charities responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and how is it continuing to provided services within the community of Western New York?
A CODVID-19 helpline has been dedicated to those in need to more quickly connect Western New Yorkers seeking help through crucial services provided by Catholic Charities. Individuals can call 716-218-1419 between the hours of 8:45 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., one can reach a Catholic Charities staff member about mental health and substance abuse counseling, make arrangements to obtain food from one of the organization's nine food pantries, or seek assistance with housing, utilities or other related basic living needs.
During the pandemic Catholic Charities has provided services to more than 20,400 individuals and families in need through all of its programs, including food pantries, basic emergency assistance, mental health and substance use counseling, domestic violence programs, and WIC. Additional information about Catholic Charities' services can be found at ccwny.org/services or by clicking on the Home button.
Is the designation for donations the same for the 2020 Appeal and HOPE Day as it was for last year's Appeal? How can I be assured it will go to where I designate?
Yes. Donors are able to select from the following options on their pledge cards or through this online donation site:
(1) Both Catholic Charities and the Fund for the Faith;
(2) Catholic Charities only;
(3) Fund for the Faith only.
We adhere to the Association of Fundraising Professionals'' Code of Ethical Standards which ensures donors we will honor their gift designations. Both Catholic Charities and the Diocese of Buffalo are audited annually. Catholic Charities' financial information, including our audit reports and I-990 can be found at ccwny.org/financial-information. Also, Catholic Charities is recognized as an Accredited Charity by the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York and is highly rated by independent evaluators Charity Navigator. The Diocese of Buffalo makes its financial information public in the Western New York Catholic each year.
We heard that the Diocese has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11. What does this mean and how could it impact the 2020 Appeal and HOPE Day?
The Diocese has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy laws. This will allow a process for restructuring its business affairs, debts and assets, with the goals of being able to respond to the financial claims of those to whom it owes money while permitting vital Church missions to remain operational. Catholic Charities is a separate non-profit entity, so the money raised for the 2020 Appeal and HOPE Day will not be impacted. With regards to the Fund for the Faith, in a Diocesan restructuring process, two funds would be created, one for settling claims, and a second fund to allow for the continuation of the Church's mission. Fund for the Faith gifts support ministries and programs which are essential to the mission. Also, because Appeal, HOPE Day and Fund for the Faith gifts are restricted, they are legally protected.
Why should I still give, with the continued sexual abuse scandal, filing of ongoing lawsuits and Chapter 11?
We are all greatly concerned about what has occurred. We believe that investing in works of charity and mercy is the foundation of rebuilding our Church in the image of Jesus. And, as the most comprehensive human service provider in Western New York, Catholic Charities needs support to continue providing programs and services to our most vulnerable neighbors. Catholic Charities also provides counseling to survivors of abuse. The Fund for the Faith enables programs and ministries which provide spiritual nutrition for our Church which will assist in the healing. With our collective strength and support we can ensure that our community will still be able to turn to Catholic Charities for help. Please know that we are here with you and for you and are grateful for your support.
WHAT PROGRAMS WILL MY GIFT SUPPORT?
Catholic Charities Programs:
Fund for the Faith: