The weekend before Thanksgiving, the annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection will take place in Archdiocese of Louisville parishes.
The CCHD is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ domestic anti-poverty program that funds organizations and programs addressing root causes of poverty.
The collection provides an opportunity for parishioners to help remedy “systemic issues that feed into poverty, food insecurity, things that lead to different stressors in a person’s life,” said Father John Schwartzlose, director of mission for Catholic Charities of Louisville.
“A lot of people say, ‘How can I help, I’m one person, we’re one parish,’ ” he said. “That’s true, but the way we change institutions for the better is one person joins one person joins one person until we’re not just ripples, we’re a tidal wave.”
During the 2021 collection, parishioners in the archdiocese contributed $36,670.30 to the fund.
The USCCB awards 75 percent of the collection to organizations throughout the country while 25 percent of the local collection is disbursed to local groups by Catholic Charities of Louisville.
Last year’s collection is helping two local programs: CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of the River Region and St. Vincent de Paul Outreach Ministries in Bardstown, Ky.
Father Schwartzlose said a board of directors’ committee decides who receives the local CCHD grants. One qualifier the committee looks for is whether the program “is addressing things that are systemic needs,” he said.
CASA received $3,383.44 to support its Advocacy Academy and Support Program. The program serves abused and neglected children in Jefferson, Bullitt, Henry, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble counties by recruiting, training and pairing volunteers with abused and neglected children. The funds will also be used for continuing education, case management and ongoing supervision of volunteers.
“It’s a beautiful ministry, wonderful and necessary,” Father Schwartzlose said. “They are singularly dedicated to making sure the children in our community are taken care of.”
St. Vincent de Paul in Bardstown received $6,000. The funds will be used to develop a program that teaches financial literacy to clients who receive emergency rent and utility assistance. The program will be led by a retired financial planner who will work to help clients learn how to identify and modify behaviors that lead to needing help with rent, utilities or food.
This year’s collection will be held the weekend of Nov. 19-20.