Appeal in Rochester Diocese surpasses its 2023-24 goal - Catholic Courier

Appeal in Rochester Diocese surpasses its 2023-24 goal

Thanks to the generosity of nearly 400 donors, the 2023-24 Catholic Courier/Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal has surpassed its goal of $46,500.

The 54th-appeal officially ended Feb. 29, 2024. As of Feb 29, a total of $49,215 in donations had been received, according to Courier Office Manager Kim Woodams, who oversees the appeal.

The 2023-24 tally reached 105.8 percent of the goal — a solid improvement over the 2022-23 appeal, when $44,947, or 97.7 percent of the $46,000 goal, was raised.

A total of 396 donors — including 42 new donors — contributed an average of $124.09 to the 2023-24 appeal.

The annual appeal supports the emergency funds of Catholic Charities offices and affiliated agencies throughout the Diocese of Rochester. A key benefit of Christmas Appeal funds is that they are “unrestricted,” meaning that they can be used to meet immediate needs at the discretion of recipient agencies.

Appeal donations assist people needing help to pay for groceries; utility bills; security deposits, rent and mortgage payments to prevent homelessness; urgent home repairs; transportation to jobs; and prescriptions.

According to Karen Dehais, president and director of diocesan Catholic Charities, increased generosity of Christmas Appeal donors couldn’t have come at a better time.

“In every corner of our diocese, Catholic Charities is seeing unprecedented requests for assistance from people who need what we provide,” Dehais said. “With the funds generated by this appeal, we will be able to ensure that more of our neighbors in need will have the essentials — food, clothing and a warm and safe place to sleep.”

Woodams noted that a net of 12 more people contributed to the 2023-24 Christmas Appeal than in 2022-23. However, the 396 figure still represents 33 fewer donors than contributed in 2021-22.

“Practically since its inception in the late-1960s, the Christmas Appeal has benefited from the generosity of many longtime donors. But as these good souls pass on to their eternal rewards, they are not being replaced by new donors,” explained Karen Franz, the Courier’s general manager/editor. “Reaching out to a wider and more diverse audience is our challenge for the years ahead.”

Woodams likewise said she hopes the appeal will succeed in attracting many new donors in 2024-25.

The 55th-annual appeal will begin in November 2024. All funds received after Feb. 29 will be credited toward that campaign.

Tags: Catholic Charities
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