Strengthening Families. Building Communities. Reducing Poverty.

Catholic Relief Services

Thank you for visiting the CRS and CCHD Page of Catholic Charities’ Website


 The Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services Programs of Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte are offered in the Diocese of Charlotte as promoted organizations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop (USCCB). Information on both organizations can be found on the USCCB website, and the CSR website, Within Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte, the CCHD and CRS Programs are housed in Catholic Charities’ Office of Social Concerns and Advocacy, coordinated by Joseph Purello, the director of that office who serves as the CRS Diocesan Director and CCHD Diocesan Director at the behest of Bishop Peter J. Jugis. In addition to the CCHD and CRS promotional work of the Office of Social Concerns and Advocacy, CCHD and CRS receive widespread promotion in the Diocese of Charlotte through the publication of articles on CCHD and CRS in the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic News Herald.


Applications for 2018 Local CCHD Grants are no longer being received. The deadline was Thursday, February 15, 2018. 

Applications for CRS Mini-Grant grants will be available on this webpage on August 1, 2018.


Catholic Relief Services (CRS)

Catholic Relief Services (CRS), founded in 1943, is the official overseas relief and development agency of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a member of Caritas International.  CRS alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in over 100 countries without regard to race, religion or nationality.  Visit

CRS Rice Bowl 2018  

The 2018 CRS Rice Bowl Program begins on Ash Wednesday, February 14.  The theme is “For Lent, For Life.”  Participating parishes and schools should receive CRS Rice Bowl items in the first week of January or the following week.  Please know that CRS will automatically send parishes and schools the amount of materials sent last year if the parish or school did not respond to the fall 2017 CRS notice to update order information for 2018.  Should a parish or school want to confirm its upcoming CRS Rice Bowl shipment or order additional items, please call CRS toll-free number at 1-800-222-0025.  Parishes and schools that wish to participate for the first time should also call CRS toll-free 1-800-222-0025 to place an order for the number of English and Spanish language Rice Bowl items desired.  Orders for first-time or additional CRS Rice Bowl materials that are requested by January 31 should arrive in parishes and schools by Friday, February 9, in time for distribution prior to the start of CRS Rice Bowl on Ash Wednesday.

CRS Rice Bowl Collection - Funds Remittance Procedures.  CRS Rice Bowl parish and school coordinators are encouraged to remind parishioners and students during Lent and for several weeks after Easter Sunday to submit their CRS Rice Bowl collections to the parish/school, making their checks payable to your parish/school. Parishes and schools should then send in, in one lump sum (by the end of May at the latest) the collected CRS Rice Bowl Collection funds to the Diocese of Charlotte Finance Office, 1123 South Church Street, Charlotte, NC 28203. Parish and school checks should be made payable to the Diocese of Charlotte, with CRS Rice Bowl in the memo section. Some parishes in schools choose to send their CRS Rice Bowl remittances directly to CRS headquarters in Baltimore. In the event that a parish or school sends CRS Rice Bowl funds directly to CRS in Baltimore, it is kindly requested that an e-mail be sent to Joseph Purello at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. indicating in the e-mail when such funds were sent to Catholic Relief Services (approximate date is fine) and indicating the dollar amount of the funds sent to Catholic Relief Services. Please contact Joseph Purello via e-mail or phone (704-370-3225) if you have any questions.

Please find here the Feb. 17, 2016 article by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz about CRS Rice Bowl that appeared in the Archdiocese of Louisville newspaper, sharing the good news of CRS Rice Bowl. Archbishop Kurtz is the current President of the USCCB.

Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD)

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) remains one of the U.S. Bishops primary efforts to fight poverty at the grassroots level. It works to end the cycle of poverty here in America by funding organizations that help individuals help themselves. Since 1970, CCHD has funded some 4,000 programs across the United States. 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. Visit

Every November, dioceses throughout the USA conduct a CCHD collection. Grant procedures and applications for National CCHD grants are available on the CCHD web page of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) website. Please note that the pre-application CCHD National Grant deadline is November 1. Non-profit organizations seeking national CCHD grant funding are strongly advised to contact Joseph Purello, the Diocese of Charlotte CCHD Director (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), prior to submitting a pre-application. 75% of the CCHD collection distribution goes to the CCHD national headquarters at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to support CCHD National Grant funding. The National CCHD Collection in the Diocese of Charlotte enables the Catholic Charities CCHD Program to offer Local CCHD Grants to non-profit organizations (including both diocesan and non-diocesan non-profit organizations) that are headquartered in the geographic area of the Diocese of Charlotte that are fighting the causes of poverty at the grassroots level. Grant funded efforts must also take place in the geographic boundaries of the Diocese of Charlotte. This spring, Local CCHD Grants (totaling $38,700) were awarded to 14 poverty fighting programs located in the following 8 Vicariates in the Diocese of Charlotte: Asheville, Charlotte, Gastonia, Greensboro, Hickory, Salisbury, Smokey Mountain, and Winston-Salem.

POVERTY USA - Learn more about Poverty in January

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) seeks to raise awareness of poverty across our nation, and to this end the USCCB highlights January as “Poverty Awareness Month.” Learn more about the USCCB poverty awareness campaign by visiting On this website you will find a Poverty USA Tour video that presents the difficult struggles faced by families living at the poverty line. Also on the website you will find an interactive map of the USA that explores and compares the extent of poverty at the state and county levels. The map also shows places where National CCHD grants are making a difference in the fight against poverty. We can fight poverty by rekindling the spirit of community with those in need — and joining in solidarity with all Americans to break the cycle of poverty forever. When you visit you can learn more about the wide array of effective steps that can be taken toward ending poverty. Find here quotes from Pope Francis on Poverty

CCHD in the News

Opportunity Threads, a cut and sew worker cooperative in Morganton, NC., was awarded a national CCHD economic development $70,000 in 2012 and a $60,000 national CCHD economic development in 2013.  In June 2014, Opportunity Threads was notified that it had received a 3rd year national CCHD grant of $60,000.   Learn more about this CCHD grant funded cooperative at, and read a November 7, 2012 feature story from the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic News Herald, on Opportunity Threads: “CCHD Funds Textile Cooperative in Morganton.”

Catholic Relief Services (CRS)


The diocesan Catholic Relief Services program raises awareness of the inequities of our world and the daily struggle for survival by so much of humanity. Your contributions to the Rice Bowl, Work of Human Hands and Food Fast initiatives support CRS operations in over 90 countries.

When calamities such as earthquakes, floods, and famines strike, CRS also makes special appeals for disaster assistance, and the people of the Diocese of Charlotte respond generously. 

In the Diocese of Charlotte, the primary activity of CRS is Rice Bowl. During Lent, participants in parishes and schools reach out in solidarity on a global level through activities that promote prayer, fasting, learning, and giving.  25% of the funds raised by the Rice Bowl collection remains in the diocese enabling Catholic Charities to offer mini-grants to diocesan entities sponsoring local initiatives on poverty and hunger alleviation.

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