Poverty has many faces, and part of the American Catholic response is through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, which is sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Each year throughout the country collections are taken up by the dioceses to support a variety of grass-roots organizations that seek to alleviate poverty and its causes.

This year in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia the collection will be taken up in the parishes during the weekend of July 12-13. Last year $297,791 was raised throughout the archdiocese, of which $228,882 (75 percent) was sent to the national CCHD and the remainder retained in Philadelphia to cover some local grants and program costs.


“CCHD funds organizations working in the Gospel spirit to address domestic poverty in a manner that recognizes the dignity of each person,” said Suzanne O’Grady Laurito, who administers the Philadelphia program. “At a time when one in five children in the U.S. live in poverty the work is more critical than ever. Those who contribute to the collection are partners in this work to bring about a more just and equitable world as envisioned by Jesus.”

A good bit of the money contributed in 2013 actually returned to the Philadelphia area by national and local grants.

(Watch a video on the collection below:)

National grants to the Philadelphia area

$50,000: Philadelphians Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild (POWER) is an interfaith congregation-based organization that seeks to empower people and transform the city. There is focus on immigration, criminal justice, education and blighted neighborhoods.

$40,000: Taxi Worker Alliance-Dispatch strives to create a worker-owned cooperative service for taxi-cab dispatch.

$40,000: Taxi Workers Alliance strives to transform and improve the taxi industry as a whole.

$40,000: Urban Tree seeks to assist urban low-income communities to revitalize their neighborhoods by transforming abandoned property into food producing gardens.

Local grants

$12,000: Aquinas Center — The project of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, South Philadelphia, strives to continue living the Gospel message in its neighborhood through cultural diversity and united in expressions of faith.

$12,000: Augustinian Defenders of the Rights of the Poor (ADROP), located in St. Edmond Parish in South Philadelphia, matches identified needs with known resources in service to the poor and needy.

$12,000: Blessed Sarnelli Community (B.S.C.) in Philadelphia provides for the needs of the poor and abandoned with an emphasis on empowering young people to share in this commitment.

$12,000: Dawn’s Place, Philadelphia, provides a safe and secure residential program for women making a journey from commercial sex exploitation. It also combats sex exploitation.

$10,000: Sisters of St. Joseph Welcome Center, in the Kensington section of Philadelphia, enables immigrants and others to improve the quality of their lives through education, support services and programs.

$5,775: Inn Dwelling in the Germantown section of Philadelphia prepares at-risk youth for academic success and leadership. It also conducts housing rehabilitation and fosters low-income family home ownership.

$2,000: Juniata Action Committee in Philadelphia promotes a healthier and harmonious community through encouragement, education and projects with love of God and love of neighbor.

$12,000: Providence Center (Fairhill/West Kensington in Philadelphia) engages children, youth and young adults in educational opportunities using a community development model.

$12,000: Community Center at Visitation (Philadelphia) provides outreach, continuous education and recreation to various groups with particular regard for nurturing the potential of youth, seniors and immigrants.

$10,000: Witness to Innocence (Philadelphia) empowers exonerated death row survivors to become effective leaders in the movement to abolish the death penalty.