By Ruby Thomas, Record Staff Writer
As the Year of Mercy ends this weekend, the annual collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will take place in Archdiocese of Louisville parishes.
The national collection, called for by the United States 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.
Parishioners in this archdiocese contributed $72,700 to the collection last year. And four local organizations benefitted from a portion of those donations, according to Deacon Lucio Caruso, director of mission at Catholic Charities of Louisville.
While 75 percent of the collection is awarded by the USCCB to organizations throughout the United States, 25 percent of the collection is disbursed locally. That means $18,726 from last year’s collection helped local groups.
Deacon Caruso said a Catholic Charities board of directors’ committee determines the recipients of local CCHD funds. To qualify for funding, an organization’s mission has to be in line with Catholic teaching, noted Deacon Caruso. It also has to be a group whose work is “trying to get to the root causes of poverty and making social change. It needs to empower people and have ‘measurable outcomes.’ ”
The following programs were selected to receive grants from last year’s collection:
The Catholic Charities’ Common Table Culinary Arts School received $8,000. The funds were used to expand culinary training for newly-arrived refugees, clients of Sister Visitor Center, former inmates and immigrant members of St. Rita Church.
Common Table helps individuals “improve their lives and the life of the community,” said Deacon Caruso, noting that several local restaurants have hired graduates of the culinary arts program.
Centro Latino of Shelbyville, Inc., received $5,000. Centro Latino aims to help Hispanic immigrants become self sufficient by providing services, such as English as a Second Language classes, computer classes and other services.
Deacon Caruso said committee members thought it was important to look outside Metro Louisville for grant recipients. Often, it’s a harder for people in areas outside of the city to access assistance, he said.
Interfaith Paths to Peace (IPP) received $4,000. IPP aims is “to foster peace, increase interfaith understanding, and cultivate inter-religious cooperation through education, programs and events,” according to the organization’s website.
The grant was awarded to help IPP expand its educational program and make it more accessible to impoverished communities and areas with high crime rates, said Deacon Carsuo.
“You are not going to have economic development in communities where there is constant violence and crime,” he said. The work being done by IPP, he said, can bring about social change through peace making.
The Cathedral of the Assumption identification card program received $1,276 to help homeless individuals obtain a state identification card.
“One of the biggest challenges in moving forward” for a homeless individual is having proper identification, noted Deacon Caruso.
Organizations interested in applying for funds from this year’s collection, including those outside of Metro Louisville, should contact Deacon Caruso at 637-9786.