USCCB News Release
November 3, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Catholic Campaign for Human Development 2008 Collection Slated for November 23
WASHINGTON—The Catholic Campaign for Human Development 2008 Collection will occur November 22-23, the weekend before Thanksgiving, in most dioceses of the United States. As he announced the annual appeal and collection, Bishop Roger Morin, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans and chairman of the Bishops' Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, urged Catholics to participate.
"The current economic situation is squeezing everyone in our country. For some of us that means more careful planning when we take the car to do errands, cutting back on restaurant dinners, and postponing discretionary purchases," said Bishop Morin. "For millions of Americans who live on the edge of poverty in the best of times, it means making wrenching choices every month about feeding their families, paying their rent, and getting necessary medical care.
"The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) helps the working poor and others who are trying to keep their heads above these turbulent waters. In the name of all of the Catholics in the United States, CCHD fights poverty and challenges injustice," Bishop Morin said.
In 2007, CCHD raised almost $14 million. Recent CCHD grant recipients include Tenants and Workers United in Alexandria, Virginia, The Northern Plains Resource Council in Montana, and the Interfaith Coalition for Action Reconciliation and Empowerment in Jacksonville, Florida.
Since 1970, CCHD has supported more than 4,000 small self-help projects initiated and led by poor people throughout the United States. Funds raised during the annual collection have been used in dioceses in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Ralph McCloud, CCHD director, said, "CCHD is effective because we help people break the crushing cycle of poverty by devising and implementing their own solutions. In some communities, poverty and injustice are best fought with sustainable jobs and affordable housing. In other areas, people need safe neighborhoods and youth programs before they can tackle other issues. People in a community know what they need. We help them obtain it."
CCHD has provided more than $280 million in grants in 38 years. Most of the funds come from the annual Collection and are allocated to community and economic development projects submitted to the national office for consideration. Individual dioceses retain 25 percent of the collection to fund local self-help initiatives.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that some 37 million people, or 12.7 percent of the U.S. population, live in poverty. This is one out of every eight individuals.
"Poverty takes a tremendous toll on the human spirit," said Bishop Morin, "and CCHD's ceaseless efforts to help people lift themselves out of poverty are a contemporary and practical example of living the Gospel. CCHD also challenges those 'to whom much has been given' to learn about the root causes of poverty and injustice and work to eliminate them."
More information on CCHD's nationwide effort to break the cycle of poverty is available at the CCHD Web site at www.usccb.org/cchd.
The Bishops' Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is part of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.