Although the holiday season has passed, it’s not too late to donate to the 36th annual Catholic Courier/Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal.
Donations may be made through Feb. 28 for the 2005 campaign, which supports the emergency funds of Catholic Charities agencies throughout 2006. Donna Stubbings, appeal coordinator and circulation manager for the Courier, said she hopes this final push will enable the Christmas Appeal to reach its goal of $50,000. As of late January it had raised approximately $42,200 in contributions, or 84.4 percent of its goal.
Noting the importance of reminding people that the appeal is still active, Stubbings suggested that prospective donors could earmark early tax refunds for the appeal.
“Sometimes I think because ‘Christmas’ is in the title, that throws people off and they figure when Christmas is over, it’s too late. But I like to emphasize that the money is needed all year long,” Stubbings said.
She hopes donors will continue to support the appeal despite a surge in charitable solicitations in recent years.
“We had 9-11, the hurricanes, the tsunami. I think people are just as generous as they ever were, but they’re giving the money to different things,” she observed.
Marvin Mich, director of social policy and research at Rochester’s Catholic Family Center, acknowledged that any shortfall in the Christmas Appeal drive will have a significant effect.
“With fuel prices high, all that assistance is needed,” said Mich, noting that food cupboards and clothing ministries are already feeling the pinch this winter. Mich’s office is responsible for distributing Christmas Appeal funds, which are joined with Operation Rice Bowl monies.
Christmas Appeal proceeds are forwarded to emergency funds of Catholic Charities offices and other affiliated diocesan agencies. The monies provide relief for people in short-term financial crises who are not eligible or have not yet qualified for other assistance in meeting their basic needs.
Donations that come in after Feb. 28 will still be welcomed; they will simply be applied toward the next appeal campaign.