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Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund Raises Nearly $235,000


Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund Raises Nearly $235,000

Ninth Annual Vita et Caritas Award presented to Jennifer DuChene,
Board President of Step Up Parents in Portsmouth

MANCHESTER, NH, September 19, 2023 – The 2023 Bishop’s Summer Reception to benefit the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund (BCAF) was held on September 13 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.

For more information about the BCAF, visit www.catholicnh.org/bcaf.

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About the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund

The BCAF is operated by a volunteer lay board of directors who make recommendations to the Bishop of Manchester for grants to any organization in New Hampshire whose mission is consistent with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and that meet the grant guidelines. The Bishop’s Summer Reception, begun in 1985, accepts donations from individuals, businesses, and philanthropic organizations that serve as the sole source of support for the Fund.