Bishop Richard J. Malone will announce the goal, theme and patron saint of the 93rd annual appeal to support Catholic Charities' services provided throughout Western New York on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at Catholic Charities' downtown Buffalo site at 525 Washington St.
The annual appeal helps fund Catholic Charities' 70 programs and services across 61 sites in the eight counties of Western New York, along with a number of ministries through the Bishop's Fund for the Faith. Bishop Malone, preparing for his fifth appeal, and Sister Mary McCarrick, OSF, diocesan director of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, appointed Gerard and Barbara Mazurkiewicz chairs of the 2017 appeal.
The Mazurkiewiczes live in West Seneca and are members of Queen of Heaven Parish. Jerry is a tax partner at Dopkins & Company LLP, a local public accounting firm offering audit, tax and consulting services to a wide variety of clients. The couple served as vice chairs for the 2016 appeal, and they have been involved in numerous local community organizations and parish activities for many years.
The 2017 appeal volunteer leadership team will also include Kellie Ulrich, community division chair; Jim Dentinger and Jackie Gurney, corporate co-chairs; and Rick Cronin, parish chair.
First Report Sunday will fall April 2, with the culmination of Appeal Week on Palm Sunday, April 9. Appeal Week marks the strongest push for parish donations, but volunteers will work to achieve the final goal until the conclusion of Catholic Charities' fiscal year on June 30.
The Washington Street site was chosen to kick off the appeal to highlight the continued growth of Catholic Charities' Education and Workforce Department, including its expansion into Niagara County this fall. After Catholic Charities' administrative offices moved in 2009, a classroom and employment counseling offices for education and workforce were added on the first floor of Washington Street. The location, which served as the organization's headquarters dating back to 1951, continues to serve as central intake for basic emergency assistance and homelessness prevention, and houses offices for foster care and adoption, as well as the organization's Young Parents program.
Catholic Charities has helped individuals and families in need since 1923. That need is varied and widespread - from emergency assistance to counseling and from specialized services for the elderly to help with job training and education. Catholic Charities served more than 152,000 people throughout the diocese over the past year. As the most comprehensive human service provider in Western New York, Catholic Charities makes a difference for people of every faith and ethnicity.
In all situations, Catholic Charities delivers support to meet immediate needs and assesses clients for other needs to ensure their long-term success. Catholic Charities receives the highest-possible rating (four stars) from Charity Navigator for transparency and sound fiscal management, as well as the highest ratings from the Council on Accreditation for quality service.