WASHINGTON— The national Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is slated for November 19-20, the weekend before Thanksgiving. The collection is taken up in parishes and dioceses nationwide. “Fight poverty in America. Defend human dignity,” is the theme of this year’s collection.
CCHD works for the relief of those oppressed by poverty by empowering neighbors to help one another eliminate the causes of poverty in their communities.
“The number of people living in poverty in our nation shot up for the fourth year in a row from 43.6 to 46.2 million in 2010—the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published,” said Bishop Jaime Soto, chairman of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. “With its focus on long-term solutions, CCHD’s approach is an essential complement to the vital work of our Catholic schools, Catholic Charities agencies, pro-life activities and other direct assistance programs to those in need.”
Examples of CCHD-funded groups include AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy), which has provided the women of Story County, Iowa, with a mobile clinic where they can receive the prenatal care they need but could not otherwise afford or access. The trained medical professionals on board provide ultrasound services and exams, but not contraceptives or abortions.
“The needs of low-income pregnant women to access prenatal care have been a concern of our parish Social Justice Committee for several years. Working with AMOS and MICA (local ecumenical social justice advocacy groups) we are happy to have had some part in securing this important service to the women in our community in need of it,” said Father James Secora, pastor of St. Cecilia Parish in Ames, Iowa.
In Ohio, WIN Action Organizing Project is working to provide foreclosure prevention assistance to thousands of homeowners. Through continued collaboration with national lenders, the project has been able to help keep hundreds of low-income families in their homes.
For over 40 years the Catholic Campaign for Human Development has funded organizations that address the root causes of poverty. The annual national collection is the primary source of funding for CCHD’s anti-poverty grants and education programs. During the 2010-2011 grant cycle CCHD put nearly $8 million dollars into community efforts to fight poverty. Twenty-five percent of the collection’s proceeds stay in the (arch)diocese where funds are collected to fight poverty and defend people’s dignity in their local communities.
A new video released by CCHD tells the stories of three individuals whose lives have been impacted by CCHD’s work to fund efforts that empower low-income people to address the causes of poverty in their communities. The video is entitled “CCHD: Living Our Faith, Breaking the Cycle of Poverty” and can be found at http://www.usccb.org/about/catholic-campaign-for-human-development/. It provides concrete examples of how CCHD carries out Jesus’ mission “to bring good news to the poor…release to captives…sight to the blind and let the oppressed go free” (Lk 4:18).
For more information about the Collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and other national collections go to www.usccb.org/about/national-collections.
Keywords: CCHD, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, human dignity, poverty, national collections, Bishop Jaime Soto, USCCB, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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