18th Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal seeks support

When instability, injustice or poverty exists, Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice Inc. is often the first to address concerns found in underserved communities. Catholic Charities strives to respond and be a part of the solution through collaboration and partnership within the community that is essential for the common good and brings dignity to people in need.

Now is the time to ensure that the needy in the Diocese of Venice get the help they require by supporting the 18th Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal which continues through January. This year’s ambitious goal is to raise $565,000.

The Christmas Appeal is the largest annual fundraiser for the social service organization which operates by the motto: “Providing Help, Creating Hope, Serving All.” The Appeal is critical for the continuing operations of the 37 different programs available in more than 32 locations throughout the 10-county Diocese. These programs annually support some 90,000 individuals and families in ways both large and small.

As an example, the Christmas Appeal will support a survivor of human trafficking on a journey back to a normal life. Elizabeth finally escaped her traffickers after enduring abuse and perpetual fear. She received vital services from Catholic Charities such as intensive case-management, service coordination, assistance with housing, advocacy and liaison with law enforcement and immigration agencies.

Often Catholic Charities clients are in a panic because they do not know where to go for relief. The urgency of their situation requires immediate attention. Catholic Charities dispenses critical mental health counseling to people suffering from anxiety, stress, trauma or depression. Mike was frantic and upset when he was laid off from his job and sought counseling. After several weeks of therapy sessions, he felt more in control of his emotions and actions enabling him to be there for his family.

Catholic Charities consistently has received the top four-star rating from Charity Navigator. Supporters can trust and have confidence in the sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency as reflected in that 92 cents of every dollar donated will go directly to clients.

Bishop Frank J. Dewane noted that the support of Catholic Charities by the faithful of Southwest Florida is inspiring and critical to ensure “our brothers and sisters in Christ continue to receive the help and support they need. Please remember that every number represents a child, family or individual who relied on the support of Catholic Charities to get through a crisis. Catholic Charities does a wonderful job in providing programs that not only help in a crisis but assist in improving daily the lives of those they reach.”

Catholic Charities CEO Philomena Pereira added: “You do not have to know firsthand what it feels like to be in a dire circumstance to understand the importance of responding to individuals in need. A gift to our Christmas Appeal can give those facing difficulties the love and courage to heal. Please consider a contribution this year so we can continue administering quality programs.”

Bishop Dewane noted that in the Gospel of Matthew we are reminded to find the image and likeness of Christ in others and lend support to those in need. “These brothers and sisters – our neighbors – need our help. Your gift to this year’s Christmas Appeal will allow Catholic Charities to continue the important work of helping the most vulnerable in our community. To all who have sustained the worthwhile work that has allowed Catholic Charities to serve those in need, I am deeply grateful.”

Catholic Charities helps people in crisis to overcome their hardships and live a healthy life. A contribution to the 18th Annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal will give those in distress the means to move beyond their struggles and enrich our communities.

Your gift can offer a weary homeless family transitional housing and resources to become independent or give a lonely and isolated senior companionship and care. A contribution can also feed desperate individuals experiencing hunger and food insecurity as well as teach at-risk adolescents the skills to make good decisions. We are asking on their behalf for you to be as generous as you can.

“No matter the amount of your gift, when leveraged with others, it will make a meaningful difference for those who turn to us for aid,” Pereira added.

To donate online please, visit www.catholiccharitiesdov.org or send check to: Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., 1000 Pinebrook Road, Venice, FL 34285.

Christmas Appeal seeks needed funds

Bob Reddy – Florida Catholic

12/4/2018

Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice, Inc., is best known as a highly rated social service agency that assists thousands of people in the community each year. But Catholic Charities Diocese of Venice is so much more. Behind the many statistics are the real people who are helped each year.

“The voices of our clients tell the most genuine story of how your gift to the annual Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal helped them bring about real change in their lives.” Catholic Charities CEO Philomena Pereira said in a letter for the 2018 Christmas Appeal. “Catholic Charities works with individuals and families, who face the challenges of poverty and instability, to reach the goal of self-sufficiency.”

The Christmas Appeal is the largest fundraiser for Catholic Charities and is vital for operating the social service organization. Each donation will help real individuals and families who are assisted through any one of the 37 different programs available in more than 30 locations throughout the Diocese. The Appeal goal is $565,000.

Jose, a client at the Judy Sullivan Family Resource Center of Catholic Charities in Naples, is very grateful to the program. During a recent visit he was greeted by a wonderful case worker with the most compassionate smile.

“I started crying when she asked me if I was okay and I saw that her eyes also got watery,” Jose said. “I felt that I was in the right place to get help. I told her that I was homeless and had recently lost my job, car, and home. As she helped me with things to eat from the food pantry, she asked me questions about my situation and looked for other ways to help. The emotional support I received… I have not received in a long time. From a slice of pizza for lunch, to restaurant coupons, a week stay at a hotel, and a bicycle, I do not have the words to describe the generosity, love and care that Catholic Charities gave to me. Thank you so much.”

Your gift to the Christmas Appeal answers the prayers of clients. Caring for those who are less fortunate not only requires the necessities of food, clothing and shelter but an array of professional programs and services to meet all their needs. Contributions of any amount are welcome and will help provide beneficial opportunities for deserving individuals and families. Each year, Catholic Charities provides assistance to more than 42,000 individuals and families.

“Please remember that every number represents a child, family or individual who relied on the support of Catholic Charities to get through a crisis,” Bishop Frank J. Dewane said. “Your gift to this year’s Christmas Appeal will allow Catholic Charities to continue the important work of helping the most vulnerable in our community. It is to all the people who have helped sustain Catholic Charities, which works to serve those in need, that I am deeply grateful.”

Sue is a client of Our Mother’s House of Catholic Charities in Venice which provides a transitional housing program for mothers with young children. Sue noted that Our Mother’s House has been the greatest gift that a single mother could ask for.

“This place is truly a blessing from God,” Sue continued. “Not only did they give me and my baby a place to live, but they provided the education I needed to become independent. Words cannot express the gratitude that I have for the opportunity to grow as a woman and as a mother. The parenting classes have given me the skills to be a better mom to my son. The financial classes have given me the skills that I need to budget and sustain goals. This has been one of the best experiences in my life. I do not know where we would be without this program. God put this program in our path at the best time. The staff was very supportive and motivated me in all the right ways to fight for a successful life.”

Catholic Charities is often the voice for those who have no voice, Pereira said. We continue to be good stewards of your contributions, with sound fiscal management and a commitment to accountability and transparency. We always put the needs of our clients first.

Catholic Charities has received the top four-star rating 16 times from Charity Navigator. In addition, a total of 93 cents of every dollar donated to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc. goes directly to services for people in need. Catholic Charities serves and empowers ALL regardless of race, nationality or creed.

You can contribute by visiting www.catholiccharitiesdov.org. You can send a donation in memory of a loved one or in honor of a family member or friend. We will send a Christmas card telling the special person of your generous gift. Donations by mail can be sent to Catholic Charities, Diocese of Venice, Inc., 5824 Bee Ridge Road, PMB #409, Sarasota, FL 34233-5065. For more information, please call 941-488-5581.

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