Christmas Appeal begins this month - Catholic Courier
Seventeen-year-olds Toni Peggi (left) and Robert Dolemann assemble food bags for needy families Dec. 8, 2013, at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Greece. Seventeen-year-olds Toni Peggi (left) and Robert Dolemann assemble food bags for needy families Dec. 8, 2013, at St. Charles Borromeo Church in Greece.

Christmas Appeal begins this month

A widowed single father sought mattresses for three of his six children who were sleeping on the floor.

An 18-year-old single mother of two left an abusive relationship with no possessions.

A child with developmental disabilities wanted a sleeping bag for summer camp.

These are among the compelling stories of prior beneficiaries of the Catholic Courier/Catholic Charities Christmas Appeal, which is launching its 46th-annual campaign. It will begin at Thanksgiving time and run through the end of February 2016. Proceeds support the emergency funds of Catholic Charities offices and affiliated agencies in the diocese.

Last year’s campaign raised $38,791.50 — or 77.6 percent — toward a goal of $50,000. Karen M. Franz, general manager of the Catholic Courier and El Mensajero Cat√≥lico newspapers, said the new campaign’s goal of $40,000 has been lowered by 20 percent “in light of reduced contributions over the last several years.” Franz noted she very reluctantly decided to reduce the goal to be more realistic, but noted that “the need (in the community) continues to rise.”

“The recession of 2008 is kind of officially over but the recovery has been very uneven,” agreed Jack Balinsky, diocesan director of Catholic Charities.

Balinsky pointed to cuts in governmental programs to assist families. Locally, he noted, a report released in January 2015 by the Rochester Area Community Foundation rated Rochester as having the highest poverty rate for cities its size in the country.

“And that poverty is not limited to Monroe County. It spreads throughout our 12-county diocese,” Balinsky remarked.

Christmas Appeal donations large and small are welcomed. They can be mailed to the Courier or donated through ROC the Day, a 24-hour local fundraising event set for Dec. 1. Prospective donors can visit at any time on that day.

Contributions are welcomed by people who have nowhere else to turn due to such unanticipated circumstances as illness, injury, death, job loss or fire. Appeal funds typically cover such needs as car and home repairs, prescriptions, utility bills, food, rent, mortgage payments, clothing, household necessities and transportation.

A key facet of Christmas Appeal aid is that it offers unrestricted funds for folks who are either awaiting or ineligible for help from other sources.

“It provides funding that we couldn’t get from anyplace else,” Balinsky pointed out.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Donations by check may be made payable to Christmas Appeal and sent to the Catholic Courier, PO Box 24379, Rochester, NY 14624. Please include your name, address, city, state, ZIP code, telephone number, and whether the gift is being made in honor or memory of someone. For more information, visit


Copyright © 2023 Rochester Catholic Press Association, Inc. All rights reserved. Linking is encouraged, but republishing or redistributing, including by framing or similar means, without the publisher's prior written permission is prohibited.

Choose from news (Monday), leisure (Thursday) or worship (Saturday) — or get all three!

No, Thanks

Catholic Courier Newsletters