As I sit down to appeal to you for funding for our agency this year, I am mindful of the weary push and pull of emotions and contentiousness that has consumed the news and airwaves for most of this past year. In spite of all of the noise, a few themes emerge:
Love for family and the desire for our children and grandchildren to be safe, happy, and free to pursue dreams and ambitions is the same driving force that moves some to build walls, and others to climb over walls.
Our desire for strong communities and self-sufficient individuals and families is the same driving force that moves some to call for tougher work requirements for those needing assistance, while others call for systemic change to remove barriers that keep people down.
Our desire for a just world is the same driving force that moves some to advocate for less government control while others advocate for more government safe-guards to protect the most vulnerable.
At Catholic Charities, we are so keenly aware of the struggle. The issues that keep people and communities from being their best are complex. We know that lasting change does not happen with bandaids and quick-fix approaches, but with the daily, committed, compassionate, in-the-trenches work with those in need.
Some of the people we work with are indeed challenged to make life-style changes and better choices. Others need instruction because they simply do not know what they do not know. And still others—perhaps our senior neighbor or the little girl next door—have been treated unfairly and they need a voice that is louder than their own.
Sometimes, we provide intensive case management so that a homeless mother achieves permanent housing and better income. Sometimes, we spend months providing one-on-one counseling so that an individual can cope a little better with the struggles and anxieties of life; or so that a teen mom can make the difficult decision about whether to parent her child or to create an adoption plan; or so that an addict can face his or her demons and make amends with family, friends and co-workers. Sometimes, we teach classes about financial literacy, managing a home, nurturing a child, or adopting a child.
This is the kind of work we do at Catholic Charities, day in and day out. Regardless of the struggles swirling around us, we strive to get to the heart of the matter: Honoring human potential through service, advocacy and invitation, in the spirit of the Gospel, so that every person experiences hope and fulfillment.
Today, as we do every year at this time, I write to ask you to support this work with a prayerfully generous financial gift.
Your gift helps us to stay focused on the persistent, hopeful, in-the-trenches work that makes a lasting impact in the lives of people and families who need help---the kind of impact that leads to strong communities, self-sufficient individuals and families, and a just world. May God bless you for your generosity.