Your mercy: Transforming lives + communities
The 2018 Catholic Charities Annual Appeal, which kicked off with the in-pew appeal the weekend of Feb. 11, focuses on transformation, a theme central to Pope Francis’ message of mercy.
“Mercy is the force that reawakens us to new life and instills in us the courage to look at the future with hope,” the pope said.
The Catholic Charities Annual Appeal supports the general operating needs of Catholic Charities programs and services to the hungry, homeless, children and families, the disabled, elderly and infirmed and the addicted — the least among us. The agency serves all, without regard to race, religion or nationality.
This year’s goal is $12.5 million, a $500,000 increase over the 2017 goal. Last year’s appeal exceeded its $12 million goal, raising $12.5 million – the seventh consecutive time donations have surpassed the goal, something that did not escape notice from Cleveland Bishop Nelson Perez.
“In my short time as your bishop, I have noticed something remarkable about this region of Northeast Ohio: it is a place of enormous hope,” said Bishop Perez. “I am not just referring here to sports teams or urban revitalization, but am speaking of the hearts of the faithful who live lives of compassion and mercy for the benefit of their brothers and sisters in need. Northeast Ohio is blessed by Catholic Charities, which is transforming the lives of thousands of people each year.”
Patrick Gareau, president and CEO of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Cleveland, said the work of charity is rooted in the Gospel. “We are to be a Christian community of missionary disciples, to be charitable, caring, loving and to reach out to those in need who can’t help themselves,” he said.
Catholic Charities cares for people at all stages of life, Gareau said, thus making a difference in more than 400,000 lives each year.
Among the sites supported by Catholic Charities is the St. Martin de Porres Family Center in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood. The center provides an array of services, including programs for early childhood, older adults, after-school programming, a food pantry, home-delivered meals and emergency assistance.
The goal of another Catholic Charities site, St. Elizabeth Center in Lorain, which opened in October, is to improve the quality of life and to provide stable housing. It serves as a men’s shelter and a hub for many social service programs in Lorain County.
In Summit County, Camp Christopher, another Catholic Charities facility, allows children to experience camp, including a group of refugee children from Akron’s North Hill neighborhood.
And in downtown Cleveland, the Bishop William Cosgrove Center offers a variety of services, including meals, clothing, showers, mail and the Heart of the Street art project.
“The good work of Catholic Charities is only possible because of God’s grace and your generosity. Won’t you open your hands to embrace the poor by making a gift to the Catholic Charities 2018 Annual Appeal?” asked Bishop Perez.
For more information on the Catholic Charities 2018 Annual Appeal, visit CatholicCommunity.org/2018Appeal. Details on Catholic Charities programs and services can be found at ccdocle.org. To make a gift online, visit Catholic-Community.org/CCdonate or call 216-696-6525.