The national collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) will take place in most parishes the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 21-22. The theme of this year’s collection is “CCHD: Working on the Margins.”
“In the gospel of Luke, Jesus told his disciples, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in here the poor and the crippled, the blind and the lame.’ This is the mission of CCHD (Lk. 14.15-24),” said Bishop Jaime Soto of Sacramento, California, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
“CCHD works on the margins, alongside our brothers and sisters to bring new hope, build community, and address the root causes of poverty,” said Bishop Soto. “With its focus on long-term solutions, CCHD transforms the lives of families and communities in need, bringing them to the table of God’s Kingdom of justice, love and peace.”
Examples of CCHD-funded groups include Urban Tree Connection, which works with low-income communities to develop local gardening projects. Urban Tree Connection Coop has turned vacant land in Haddington, Pennsylvania, into space for food production, teaching low-income residents how to grow and sell food. These projects not only give residents access to nutritious foods but they also create an opportunity for people to develop leadership skills and build community bonds.
With a grant from CCHD, the Parish Peace Project in Chicago aims to address the continuing violence in Latino neighborhoods and the large number of struggling Latino youth and young adults. This project, a collaboration between 15 parishes and the Office of Young Adult Ministry at the Archdiocese of Chicago, works with those caught up in the criminal justice system, brings support services to schools, as well as providing mental and medical health services to the undocumented. By connecting pastoral ministry, restorative justice work, and community organizing, the Parish Peace Project prepares young at-risk Latino men and women to build safer and stronger neighborhoods in Chicago.
CCHD carries out Jesus’ mission of mercy. For over 40 years, CCHD has been the national anti-poverty program of the USCCB working to break the cycle of poverty in the United States and educate on poverty and its causes. The Subcommittee on the Catholic Campaign for Human Development allocates grants from funds received via the national collection each year. This national collection is the primary source of funding the CCHD’s anti-poverty grants and education programs working to provide lasting solutions for the estimated 46 million people who live in poverty in the United States. Twenty-five percent of funds collected remain in each diocese to support local anti-poverty projects.