Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Catholic Charities 2008 Christmas Collection continues to work toward fundraising goal

the Inland Register

(From the Feb. 26, 2009 edition of the Inland Register)

Catholic Charities Spokane is pleased to announce that the 2008 Christmas Collection has brought in $644,070 from 3,3595 donors, with an average gift of $192; the same average gift received during the 2007 Collection. This is a strong showing for a community that has wrestled with a difficult winter in the midst of the national economic slow-down.

According to Dr. Rob McCann, Catholic Charities’ Executive Director, “When times are hard, our donors know that times are even harder for our clients. It’s like them to step up and be the hands of Christ in the world.”

The Christmas Collection, which will help fund the 15 programs of Catholic Charities Spokane for 2009, is still $106,000 short of its goal of $750,000, as of Feb. 20. A second mailing has now gone out to potential donors.

While some fear that Catholic Charities programs might have to be cut, “I have faith, as I do every year, that our friends in Eastern Washington will not let our vital programs go untended,” said Dr. McCann.

“We have record numbers of volunteers coming forward to help us serve our clients, we are preparing to move into the Catholic Charities Family Services Center in mid-March, and we remain confident in the reputation Catholic Charities has deservedly built for using our resources carefully and efficiently.”

“We have made a very intentional and strategic choice to stay optimistic with what I have been calling ‘rational exuberance,’” he said. Although the decrease in donations was always a possibility, the agency has been planning for that contingency. “With economic thinking and cost-cutting wherever we can without hurting client needs, we will get through a very difficult 2009.

“That’s what Catholic Charities has always been about – helping wounded and poor people prevail when their world seems to spin out of control. Right now the U.S. economy makes us all feel a bit like our lives are spinning and we want to be a light of hope shining in an otherwise gloomy world. It’s a light based in realistic thinking and careful stewardship of every penny – but it’s a light of hope nonetheless.”

Catholic Charities Spokane has five main goals for 2009:

• Consolidate 11 programs into one centralized location at 12 E. 5th Avenue, Spokane, thereby realizing greater access for clients and an annual savings of $100,000 for agency overhead costs.

• Plan a new farm housing complex in Pasco.

• Continue to move St. Anne Children and Family Center to a financial and operational position from which to increase the number of low-income children served.

• Increase the organization’s presence in rural communities by adding services in Pasco and Newport.

• Find new ways to tell the Catholic Charities Spokane story to parish supporters, increasing the numbers of volunteers and participation in the new Catholic Charities Gala.

Donations to the Christmas Collection can be made in one of two ways:

Online at:

By postal mail to: Catholic Charities Spokane Christmas Collection, P.O. Box 2253, Spokane, WA 99210-2253.

“There’s certainly plenty going on to make us feel anxious, afraid, and unsure,” said Dr. McCann. “We have planned carefully and will operate frugally to continue to be a source of hope. Even if our Collection has not yet reached its goal, our Eastern Washington community can be sure we will be here to do our work.”

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