This weekend, November 18-19, Catholic parishes across the country will commemorate World Day of the Poor by collecting an offering for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).
For Gamaliel and our affiliates, as well as hundreds of other faith-based organizations in this country, CCHD has made it possible for us to develop low-income and marginalized people to become leaders in their communities and to take their rightful places—as human beings created in the image of God—at the power tables where decisions are made that impact their lives and the lives of their families and communities. As Pope Francis, in his message for the World Day of the Poor 2023, wrote: “Caring for the poor is more than simply a matter of a hasty hand-out; it calls for re-establishing the just interpersonal relationships that poverty harms.”
CCHD Grants Transform Communities
In the 2021-2022 grant cycle, CCHD distributed 224 grants totaling more than $15.4 million. It is through the generosity of thousands of Catholic parishioners who have invested in CCHD that Gamaliel affiliates have achieved a number of victories on behalf of the poor and marginalized. Here are a few recent examples of the impact of CCHD funding on local communities:
• Gamaliel affiliate BRIDGE Maryland, Inc., along with a coalition of like-minded organizations in the State of Maryland, organized folks across the state to pass the Child Interrogation and Protection Act (CIPA) which ensures that an attorney will be notified and a parent/guardian contacted when children are taken into custody for interview or interrogation. (Prior to this legislation, children were waiving their rights at a rate of 90% making them vulnerable to rights violations.)
• Gamaliel affiliate Genesis, in Oakland, CA, mobilized voters to pressure the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to ban the use of chemical sprays and prone restraints in Juvenile Hall and to kill a $75 million line item to renovate a youth incarceration facility. This policy came as a result of years of pushing on elected officials to invest in the mental and spiritual health of the 79,500 youth in the county.
• Gamaliel affiliate Escucha Mi Voz Iowa organized Latino immigrants to secure $3.5 million in direct assistance for COVID-19 essential workers in West Liberty and Johnson County, Iowa. This year, the group members distributed $1.3 million in federal pandemic relief aid to meatpacking plant workers and farmworkers.
• From 2020 to 2023, Gamaliel received a National Strategic Grant from CCHD. That money allowed us to hire and develop more than a dozen new organizers in affiliates across the Network. Those organizers, in turn, have been guiding their organizations to address a range of issues in low-income communities and communities of color, i.e., access to affordable housing, clean water, living wage jobs, quality education, and more. As a result, communities across this country are being transformed.
Catholic or Non-Catholic—You can ensure that CCHD continues to be able to respond to the needs of the poor and the
•If you are a member of a Catholic parish, give generously this weekend through the World Day of the Poor offering.
•If you are not a member of a Catholic parish, you can still give generously to CCHD.
•Whether you are a member of a Catholic parish or not, you can spread the word about the effective and impactful work of CCHD and encourage others to invest in it, as well. Learn more about the CCHD collection here.
Thank you, Catholic Campaign for Human Development, for your 50+ years of commitment to eradicating poverty and marginalization of people across this country! And thank you, Gamaliel, for your continued investment in the work of social justice!
Ana Garcia-Ashley, Executive Director