By Harold McNeil
May 1, 201With two months remaining, the 94th annual Catholic Charities of Buffalo Appeal has reached nearly $8.9 million in cash and pledges, but needs to pick up steam, according to diocese officials.
That’s just shy of 81 percent of its 2018 goal. An additional $2.1 million has to be raised between now and June 30 in order to reach this year’s $11 million goal. Sister Mary McCarrick, diocesan director of Catholic Charities, said the organization has seen strong support, particularly after being featured in a recent segment on the Today Show, but the appeal should be closer to 90 percent of its goal or greater at this point. She said the last time the appeal failed to reach its goal was in 2009, when it was at 88 percent of its final goal at this stage of the campaign.
Funds raised during the appeal help support the 70 programs and services provided by Catholic Charities at 61 sites throughout Western New York, along with a number of ministries that are part of the Bishop’s Fund for the Faith.
“If we don’t reach our goal, we will need to take a serious look at these services to people in need,” McCarrick said in a statement announcing the progress of the campaign. “For example, it costs about $50,000 to fund one food pantry and we currently operate eight pantries; six in Erie County, and one each in Cattaraugus and Allegany County.”
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