Parishes in the Diocese of Raleigh will conduct the annual Catholic Campaign for Human Development collection this month. The Campaign began in the early 1970s by the U.S. bishops with a two-fold purpose. The first was to raise funds to support "organized groups of white and minority poor to develop economic strength and political power." The second purpose was to "educate the People of God to a new knowledge of today's problems...that can lead to some new approaches that promote a greater sense of solidarity." In its 36 years, CCHD has awarded more than 7,800 grants to support self-help projects in communities throughout the United States. The national grants are in addition to smaller ones given each year by Dioceses to self-help organizations in their area.
Ten organizations in Eastern North Carolina are the most recent recipients of Diocesan CCHD grants presented in October. They received their grants at a dinner held at Saint Michael the Archangel Church in Cary. In his remarks, Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge thanked those present for the great example they display working in God’s vineyard. He said he was sure they were not seeking an early reward or recognition or honor in their service to the least among us. “It’s all about what God has given to you, to serve and to help those who are in most need.”
CCHD guidelines explicitly state that in order to apply for CCHD funding the mission and actions of agencies seeking funding cannot be at odds with Catholic social teaching. All requests are reviewed by the sponsoring diocese, the CCHD subcommittee and the CCHD staff.
In a letter to all dioceses, Bishop Roger P. Morin, Chair of the USCCB Catholic Campaign for Human Development Subcommittee, noted that if a group, that is awarded a CCHD grant, is found to be in conflict with the guidelines, funding is immediately halted. It should be noted that of the 250 grants awarded in 2009, allegations were made against five recipients, with three found to be credible. The three organizations were defunded.
Bishop Morin also addressed CCHD action regarding ACORN. “I remind you that the CCHD ban on funding ACORN at any level remains in place,” Bishop Morin wrote. “You can assure your people that this will be the third CCHD collection in which no funds have gone or will go to any national or local ACORN structures.” (Read Bishop Morin’s letter.)
While organizations do not have to be Catholic to apply for a grant, CCHD is deeply integrated in the life of the Catholic community. In 2008, CCHD-funded groups involved 776 Catholic parishes, 18 Catholic Charities agencies and 51 religious communities.
Additional information is available on the mission of CCHD and a list of national grant recipients from 2004 through 2009 at www.usccb.org/cchd.
Diocese of Raleigh CCHD Recipients
Listed below are the ten local awardees with remarks by members of nine organizations which were present at the awards dinner:
Step Up Ministry Life Skills Program, Raleigh (Windows Media)
Non-profit, faith based organization that prepares over 500 low-income and homeless individuals annually to change their lives to break the cycle of poverty.
Wake Interfaith Hospitality Aftercare Program, Raleigh
Provides year-long assistance and necessary skills to clients in helping them establish a stable home.
Feed His Sheep/Stellar Peer Recover Ministry, Clayton
A drop-in center that supports individuals with mental health disabilities. (Not present)
St. Ann Neighborhood Youth Center, Fayetteville (Windows Media)
Afterschool outreach program that provides tutoring, cultural awareness and spiritual awareness and activities to students at the elementary level.
Hoke Reading/Literacy Council, Raeford (Windows Media)
The Council provides reading, writing, and communication skills to adults and out-of-school teenagers.
Summit House, Triangle (Windows Media)
Summit House helps mothers convicted of nonviolent crimes keep their children by providing them with a safe place to regain control of their lives and become productive members of society.
Durham Congregations in Action, Durham, for the Yo Program (Windows Media)
YO-Durham (Year of Opportunity for Durham Teens) offers at-risk youth opportunities for a summer academy about life-choices and work-readiness, a year-long, paid internship with a local employer, and relationships with volunteer mentors and staff to support them in building successful lives at work, school, and home.
Los Padres Latinos, Durham (Windows Media)
Los Padres Latinos enrolls Spanish-speaking mothers from Immaculate Conception parish’s Hispanic membership and from community partners to assist with parenting and life skills.
Durham Economic Resource Center (DERC), Durham (Windows Media)
DERC provides discounted products to member non-profit and faith-based organizations to alleviate basic needs among the poor, ill, and elderly.
Catholic Charities Employment Assistance Project, Fayetteville (Windows Media)
This project assists Catholic Charities clients in securing meaningful employment. Its comprehensive range of services includes: skills assessments, interviewing techniques, resume development, and use of job search engine technologies.