By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
The annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD), which benefits national and local efforts to end poverty, will take place in parishes this weekend, Nov. 18 and 19.
The national collection, called for by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), supports organizations that aim to help low income people lift themselves up, according to a press release from the bishops’ conference. The CCHD is the official domestic anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops. The collection funds grants and educational programs.
Last year, parishioners in the Archdiocese of Louisville contributed about $60,000 to the national collection. And four local aid organizations benefitted from a portion of those donations, said Deacon Lucio Caruso, director of mission at Catholic Charities of Louisville.
Seventy-five percent of the collection is dispersed by the USCCB to organizations throughout the country and 25 percent of the collection is awarded to local anti-poverty projects. That means, $15,000 from last year’s collection aided groups in Louisville.
Deacon Caruso, director of mission at Catholic Charities of Louisville, said the local CCHD grants are awarded to organizations attempting to “effect more of a social, systemic change.”
To qualify for funding, Deacon Caruso said, an organization or project must meet certain criteria — it must benefit a large number of people; at least 50 percent of people benefiting from this project must be from a low-income community; it should work among diverse community partners; and carryout values of Catholic social teaching.
The following programs were selected to receive grants from last year’s collection:
– The Cathedral of the Assumption identification card program received $5,000 to help homeless individuals obtain a state identification card.
“When people have an ID, it opens up so many doors, the possibilities of jobs and of things to empower and better their lives,” Deacon Caruso said.
– Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the River Region received $4,000.
“CASA has a whole life-skills program that really empowers young people. Volunteers work with them in areas of their lives that allow them to have a better life in the long haul going forward,” he said.
– Interfaith Paths to Peace (IPP) was awarded $4,000. The work of IPP is essential to bettering the community and neighborhoods, Deacon Caruso said, adding, “Peace making is also so vital for systemic and social change.”
– And, the Kentucky Office of Refugees received $2,000 for transportation expenses to help refugees and migrants attend a rally at the Capitol in Frankfort for Refugee and Immigrant Day, which was Feb. 16, 2017.
“To be able to go to Frankfort and to bring a voice to the needs of migrants, refugees and immigrants is important,” he said.
Catholic Charities of Louisville’s board of directors’ program committee determines the award recipients. For information about applying for CCHD grants, contact Deacon Caruso at 637-9786.