Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund
Pictured above: The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, has named Sean and Liz Feren as Co-Chairs of the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund for 2023.
CLICK HERE to make a donation to the BCAF. If you would like to mail in a donation, please make the check out to the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund, 153 Ash Street, Manchester, NH 03104. If you have questions, please contact Melanie English at email@example.com or (603) 663-0166.
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About the BCAF and Bishop's Summer Reception
The Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund is a not-for-profit organization within the Catholic Church in New Hampshire. The Fund enables the Bishop of Manchester, through a board of directors, to make grants to not-for-profit organizations without regard to religious affiliation for projects that help people in New Hampshire meet their basic needs. Volunteer lay men and women, who serve as Directors, make recommendations to the Bishop of Manchester for grants with an emphasis on meeting basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, heat and other necessities. The grants go to organizations in New Hampshire whose mission and operations are consistent with the mission of the Roman Catholic Church.
The 2023 Bishop’s Summer Reception to benefit the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund (BCAF) was held on September 13, 2023 at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester. Attended by more than 300 guests, the reception capped a successful campaign co-chaired by Sean and Elizabeth Feren of Manchester that raised $234,222.
During his remarks, Bishop Peter Libasci thanked the donors to the BCAF. “You have heard the message of the Gospel, which is evident by your compassion for the ‘least’ of our brothers and sisters,” he said. “My heart is deeply touched by the spirit of generosity that you have demonstrated tonight.” He also expressed his appreciation to the volunteer members of the campaign committee and the BCAF Board of Directors.
Now in its 38th year, the BCAF has raised and distributed $7,689,115 to assist organizations that improve the quality of life and provide the basic essentials for individuals and families in New Hampshire, especially the poor and disadvantaged.
The ninth annual Vita et Caritas Award was presented during the reception to Jennifer DuChene. President of the Board of Directors of Step Up Parents. The award, given in memory of the late Ruthie Ford, recognizes a volunteer who demonstrates exceptional service to a nonprofit organization assisting women, children, or families.
Step Up Parents offers financial assistance to grandparents and other kinship caregivers who have “stepped up” to raise children whose parents struggle with substance misuse. It is dedicated to honoring the efforts of kinship caregivers, preserving their dignity, and responding to their families’ immediate financial needs. Since its inception in 2019, Step Up Parents has assisted more than 400 NH families, impacted more than 700 children, and given more than $225,000 in assistance.
Along with her work with the Board, DuChene volunteers her time daily to help run the organization, oversee its assistance giving and manage grant writing efforts. She also serves as a volunteer for CASA (Court Appointed Child Advocates of New Hampshire). “As a former teacher and school owner, I have a passion for helping children and families, which led me to my work with Step Up Parents and CASA,” DuChene said.
The Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund is now accepting applications for grants for 2023. The BCAF gives preference to tax-exempt organizations that assist with basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing and home heating. Guidelines and instructions on how to apply are available through the BCAF grant application form.
The board meets quarterly to review grant applications. If your organization is interested in applying for a grant we need your request on December 13, 2023, February 21, 2024, April 24, 2024, or September 18, 2024.
View a list of BCAF grant recipients from October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024.
View our 2023 Summer Newsletter
View our 2023 Spring Newsletter
Vita et Caritas Award
The Vita et Caritas Award is presented to a non-profit organization’s volunteer who makes significant contributions to the organization. This award, which includes a grant to the organization, honors the memory of Ruthie Ford, whose life reflected tireless dedication to service to help women, children and families. Read more about the Vita Caritas Award.
Board of Directors
The BCAF has a volunteer board of directors that is responsible for both raising funds and reviewing and approving grant applications.