BUFFALO - Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, bishop of Buffalo, announced a $10.6 million goal for the 2012 Appeal in support of Catholic Charities of Buffalo.
With the goal increased by $100,000 from last year's successful Appeal, the announcement kicked off the 88th annual campaign. Bishop Kmiec also announced the theme of this year's drive - "Protect. Strengthen. Empower." - and named Blessed John Paul II the patron of Appeal 2012.
"This year's theme articulates how our many programs, services and activities benefit the community, and those who turn to us for help," said Bishop Kmiec. "The theme also magnifies the link between the generosity of our donors and the results of our efforts."
Catholic Charities CEO Dennis Walczyk talks about the new pantry space.
Appeal Week 2012 will take place March 25 through April 1 to celebrate the support of Western New Yorkers who have made a contribution to the Appeal, and encourage those who have not already donated to do so. Although Appeal Week marks the strongest push for donations, volunteers will be working to achieve the final goal throughout the coming months, and if necessary, until the conclusion of Catholic Charities' fiscal year on June 30.
Funds raised through the 2012 Appeal will help fund Catholic Charities' programs across 61 sites in the eight counties of Western New York. The organization's many services benefiting from this year's Appeal include its food pantries, counseling for individuals, children and families, the Our Kids Parent Education Program for separated and divorced individuals experiencing conflict around custody issues, and the three children's mental health clinics serving Niagara County residents.
Bishop Kmiec made the announcement at the South Buffalo Food Pantry at 920 Tifft St., one of four food pantries Catholic Charities of Buffalo operates.
Dennis C. Walczyk, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities, welcomed the South Buffalo Food Pantry back to its newly renovated Tifft Street location at the former Holy Family School and detailed other former church properties being utilized by Catholic Charities.
"We have highlighted three of our pantries during our kickoffs in recent years, and all are located in former church properties," Walczyk said. "These are a small portion of the 18 buildings on former church campuses Catholic Charities is now utilizing."