Press Release ~ November 15, 2013
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is slated for November 23-24, the weekend before Thanksgiving. The collection is taken up in parishes and dioceses nationwide. The theme of this year’s collection is: “Defend Human Dignity: Take Poverty Off the Map.”
This annual national collection is the primary source of funding for the campaign’s anti-poverty grants and education programs. These programs enable low-income people to join together to identify problems, make decisions and improve their communities. For over 40 years, the campaign has funded organizations that address the root causes of poverty, providing lasting solutions for the future.
During the 2012-2013 grant cycle, the campaign gave out 214 grants in community and economic development, totaling more than $9 million. Of these grants, 178 went to community development and 36 went to economic development and job creation projects. Additionally, 10 grants were given in the category of technical assistance.
“In the United States, 46 million people live in poverty,” said the Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Bishop of Sacramento, Cal., and chairman of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. “Many families face continuing unemployment and increasing costs of living; our neighbors are struggling to meet the cost of health care, child care and even food. CCHD brings the Gospel message to issues of social justice. We cannot simply help a struggling family today and leave them with no means of support tomorrow,” continued Bishop Soto. “Instead, the projects funded by CCHD focus on long-term solutions to poverty. This complements the work of direct-assistance programs like Catholic Charities and pro-life activities.”
Twenty-five percent of the proceeds from each campaign collection stay in each diocese to fight poverty and foster liberty and justice at the local level. The campaign uses the national portion of the collection to fund projects across the country through grants. These grants fund community efforts to promote human dignity and fight poverty. Many of the funded projects focus on health care, immigration, community safety, political participation and environmental justice.
The campaign-funded projects help people and communities in a number of ways. Started by Italian immigrants in 1943, Holy Rosary Credit Union is a not-for-profit credit union that extends development and financial education services geared toward the low-income population of Kansas City, Mo. With help from the collection, the credit union encourages thrift, savings and the wise use of credit for individuals and small businesses. It teaches its members how to manage and control their finances, helping move them out of poverty and into financial stability.
Similarly, in the Archdiocese of Seattle and the Dioceses of Spokane and Yakima, the Intercommunity Peace and Justice Center works with help from 16 religious communities and local Women’s Justice Circles. One program, Justice for Women, organizes women living in poverty by bringing them together with economically stable women from local faith communities. With low-income women in the lead, the Circles identify the conditions that need changing and offer women spiritual strength and support.
Through campaign-funded projects, the support of individuals and organizations across the country is helping to end poverty one community at a time. More information about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is available at http://www.povertyusa.org/. For collection materials and other resources, visit http://www.usccb.org/ and search “CCHD Collection Resources.”