Annual CCHD collection helps fund anti-poverty grants to organizations (1)

November 13, 2012

HOUSTON — The annual U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop’s national collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) is slated for Nov. 17 and 18, the weekend before Thanksgiving. 

The collection, which is taken up in parishes and dioceses nationwide, is the primary source of funding used by CCHD to provide grants to organizations and education programs that focus on breaking the cycle of poverty.

For more than 40 years, the CCHD has funded organizations that address the root causes of poverty.

“More than 46 million Americans live in poverty in the United States. With continuing unemployment and increasing costs of living, many families must make hard choices between necessities like health care, child care and even food,” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, Calif., chairman of the USCCB’s Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. “With its focus on long-term solutions, CCHD’s approach is an essential complement to the vital work of our Catholic schools, Catholic Charities agencies, pro-life activities and other direct assistance programs for those in need.”

Deacon Sam Dunning, the Office of Justice and Peace director and CCHD director for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, said the organization is “one of the real, practical ways in which the Church incarnates the social teachings of our tradition.”

Some of the local organizations helped by the CCHD collection include the Living Hope Wheelchair Assoc. and Mothers for Clean Air.
“A large part of what we do at CCHD is we help fund organizations that are seeking to achieve systemic change,” Dunning said. “We try to focus on grassroots organizations ... people that have limited resources, that have limited power, and we help them with the seed money that gets the organization off the ground.”

Dunning said new organizations seeking help from CCHD need to apply to see if their organization qualifies.

“We try to determine the strength of the organization, its viability, does it accord with the social and moral teachings of the Church, does it help fulfill the mission of CCHD, which is helping people break out of the cycle of poverty,” he said. “It’s a lengthy process.”

During the 2011-2012 grant cycle, the campaign put just over $8 million dollars into community efforts to promote human dignity and fight poverty. Twenty-five percent of each CCHD collection’s proceeds stay in the local dioceses where funds are collected to fight poverty as well as foster “liberty and justice for all” in their local communities. Every year, CCHD uses the collected funds to carry out the mission of Jesus and announce the Gospel of life to all.

For more information about the collection for CCHD and other national collections, visit
-USCCB contributed to this article.