Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington
Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302
Catholic Charities Christmas Collection goal is $750,000
the Inland Register
(From the , 2007 edition of the Inland Register)
Bishop Skylstad and Dr. Rob McCann, Executive Director of Catholic Charities, talk to the press during the kickoff for the 2007 Catholic Charities Christmas Collection. (IR photo from Catholic Charities)
Catholic Charities hosted the kickoff for its 66th annual Christmas Collection on Monday, Nov. 19, in the indoor play area of St. Anne Children and Family Center, Spokane.
Dr. Rob McCann, Executive Director of Catholic Charities Spokane, said that the organization’s staff “kind of hold our breath a little bit” as the annual fund-raising effort begins each year. The Christmas Collection typically raises almost half of Charities’ annual funding, and within a month’s time.
The goal of this year’s collection is $750,000.
Donations will be used locally in the 15 programs and 38 locations served by Catholic Charities. Out of each dollar donated, nearly 93 cents goes directly to services for the poor, said McCann – a low overhead which is unheard of among nonprofits.
Besides the high proportion of donations used to fund services such as child care, housing, and shelter for the homeless, Catholic Charities has history on it side.
“We’ve been around for 95 years,” said McCann. “With all that experience comes the ability to be good shepherds of donations.” The independent charity evaluator Charity Navigator has rated Catholic Charities “excellent” for three years running.
Bishop William Skylstad addressed a common misconception: that the organization serves and employs only Catholics, which is not the case.
“We serve not because they are Catholic, but because we are Catholic,” he said. “Each person is vulnerable and precious in our eyes, so we heed the Gospel mandate to love our neighbors as ourselves.” <>P> Funds donated to the Christmas Collection stay in Eastern Washington, said Bishop Skylstad, meeting the needs of the vulnerable in the region.
Sandy, a 75-year-old patron of the House of Charity, stood and said, “If I have one gratitude, it’s the House of Charity. It’s a 100 percent lifesaver. There is hope!”
Mickey Sperry, who works for the Foster Grandparents program, said, “Never have I gotten to have so many little ones love me – as much as I love them!”
Kelly, from St. Margaret Shelter, spoke of how her time there has turned her life around and given her new skills and opportunities, as well as the chance to be reunited with her children.
“Catholic Charities provides help and creates hope every day of the year,” McCann said.
Donations to the Christmas Collection can be made in three ways:
• Online at: www.catholiccharitiesspokane.org