PROVIDENCE — The 2020 Catholic Charity Appeal, which provides the principal means of support for the good works done by more than three dozen charitable ministries and programs, is underway in the Diocese of Providence, with a goal of $7.3 million, down slightly from last year’s goal of $7.6 million.
Supporters of the Appeal in recent years will receive a letter from Bishop Thomas J. Tobin on Feb. 1 asking them to contribute once again to this very worthwhile effort, which provides the principal means of support for daily diocesan outreach that has a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people across the state each year.
This initial letter to donors historically has spurred a strong outpouring of contributions, a strong predictor of the success of the annual appeal.
“That first mailing generates so much momentum for the success of the Appeal,” said Tim McCaig, executive director of the 2020 Catholic Charity Appeal.
In-pew solicitations for donations will commence in early March. For three weeks during that month, representatives of various diocesan ministries will offer presentations to the faithful at Masses in an effort to help spread the word of how critical the appeal is to the diocese’s continued ability to provide assistance to those most in need on a daily basis.
The ministries supported by the Catholic Charity Appeal range from social service ministries that provide direct support to the poor, the hungry and homeless — such as the “Keep the Heat On” winter fuel assistance program and the diocesan Emmanuel House homeless shelter — to dire emergency services providing rent and medical aid to those in crisis.
Other outreach services supported by the Catholic Charity Appeal include the diocesan Life and Family Ministry, which provides formula, diapers, clothing and other assistance to young families in need. Diocesan prison ministry provides chaplaincy services to those who are incarcerated, while justice and peace educational programs work to end violence in the inner city. Additionally, immigration and refugee services, as well as community advocacy initiatives for various needs in the community, are also supported by the diocese through the Appeal.
Those social service ministries work with outside agencies, such as the Rhode Island Food Bank, the Rhode Island Poverty Institute, the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging, which supports those who assist the sick and elderly.
The Catholic Charity Appeal also supports a child care voucher program for low-income families, a youth camp, two youth centers and a statewide sports league that is open to all children.
For the first time, a video highlighting some of the ministries and programs helped through generous donations to the Catholic Charity Appeal in the Diocese of Providence has been produced. It is available for viewing online by visiting www.Dioceseofprovidence.org/CCA.
The appeal is running concurrently with the diocesan Grateful for God’s Providence capital campaign, which will conclude in the next few months a two-year effort to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Diocese of Providence in 2022 by raising $50 million to support the Church’s mission at the diocesan and parish levels.
Both fundraising initiatives are separate and distinct from each other.
The Grateful for God’s Providence capital campaign is endowment focused, establishing a foundation for the future to support more broad-based programs, such as Catholic school tuition assistance, seminarian education, priest retirement assistance and needed renovations to the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul.
The annual Catholic Charity Appeal, by contrast, is focused on providing assistance to those most in need on a day to-day basis, along with funding for social and athletic programs that benefit hundreds of young people across the state each year.
“The Grateful for God’s Providence capital campaign is very much a program for donors to leave their legacy through their pledges,” McCaig said.
“The day-to-day, short-term needs of the poor, the homeless, the sick — as well as youth, who are the future of the Church — is funded through the ongoing support of Catholic Charities.”
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