In January, Defend Human Life and Dignity - Advocate to Protect the Unborn and Advocate for Those Who Struggle in Poverty
In January, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) intensify their call for Catholics to engage in prayer and activities to help build a respect for innocent human life in society (visit http://www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/). Around the nation, Catholics participate in numerous events to mark the January 22, 1973 Supreme Court decisions (Roe v. Wade, and Doe v. Bolton) that legalized, in all
50 states, the taking of defenseless and innocent unborn human life. Several employees of Catholic Charities will join hundreds of thousands of marchers who will travel to Washington, D.C, to give witness, voice and prayer in the shadow of Capitol Hill in support of executive, legislative and judicial action to protect the fundamental and God-given right to life of unborn children. Please pray for the success of the March for Life on January 27 and for the safety of all participants. In the week following the March for Life, Catholic Charities' Respect Life Program Director Jessica Grabowski will share her reflections on the March for Life in a CCDOC blog post.
The U.S. Bishops also seek to raise awareness of poverty across our nation in the month of January, and to this end, the USCCB highlights January as “Poverty Awareness Month.” Learn more about the USCCB poverty awareness campaign by visiting www.povertyusa.org. On this website, you will find a Poverty USA Tour video that presents the difficult struggles faced by families living at the poverty line. The website includes K-12 educational resources, prayer resources and an interactive map of the USA that depicts the extent of poverty at state and county levels.
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) remains one of the U.S. Catholic Bishops primary efforts to fight poverty in the United States at the grassroots level. The annual CCHD national collection, held in November, is a source of both national and local funds to support organizations addressing the root causes of poverty in America. Seventy-five percent of collected funds support CCHD’s National Grant Program, while twenty-five percent of the funds stay in the Diocese of Charlotte to support local CCHD poverty fighting efforts. This past spring, twelve Local CCHD grants totaling $39,000 were distributed to non-profits located in the following nine cities of the diocese: Belmont, Brevard, Charlotte, Gastonia, Greensboro, Hickory, Shelby, Waynesville, and Winston-Salem.
Samaritan Ministries in Winston-Salem was one of the twelve grant recipients this past year. In the adjacent photo, you will see me pleased to present a grant check for $3,500 to Sonjia Kurosky, Executive Director of Samaritan Ministries, at the 2016 CCHD Grant Awards Luncheon held at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Hickory. The grant was given to support “Project Corners
tone," a project of Samaritan Ministries that provides residential long-term recovery for former substance abusers. While in residence at Samaritan Ministries, clients are supported in overcoming addictions and assisted in developing employment skills. Samaritan Ministries, which seeks to “provide food for the body and hope for the soul” offers a range of services to assist those in need. Its grant application endorsement letter came from St. Leo Catholic Church, which supports the non-profit with parishioner volunteers, fundraisers, and in-kind donations.
Applications for Local CCHD Grants are due February 15
In the Diocese of Charlotte, the Local CCHD Grant Program is sponsored by Catholic Charities. Information on this grant program can be found on the Catholic Charities website at www.ccdoc.org/cchdcrs. Grant funded projects address poverty (and/or related social concerns) at its root causes. Non-profit organizations that give people who are poor a voice in how to address their struggles with poverty are especially encouraged to apply. Grants provide funds of up to $5,000. The deadline for completed applications to be submitted via email, for consideration in the 2017 round of grants, is February 15. All non-profit applicants and their projects for which funds are sought are reviewed according to stated grant guidelines and eligibility criteria, including a review of the conformity of the organization and proposed project with Catholic social and moral teachings. Applications from non-profits which are not Catholic entities of the Diocese of Charlotte must be accompanied by a letter of endorsement from a pastor or deacon who is familiar with the work of the non-profit.
By Joseph Purello,
Director of Social Concerns and Advocacy