Catholic Charities Report
Catholic Charities’ Winning Ticket
By Karen Moynihan, Interim Senior Director of Development, Catholic Charities New Hampshire
‘‘Because of our generous donors, Catholic Charities has already hit the jackpot. Thank you!”
Back in January two gigantic lottery winnings produced instant multi-millionaires, and one of those prizes was collected right here in New Hampshire. Most of us began our new year with our usual struggles and plans for the future, and perhaps just a tinge of envy towards those lucky winners.
Of course, those of us who work in the not-for-profit world, and especially those of us who serve people who are most vulnerable to life’s many obstacles, always harbor a secret hope that maybe some of those prize winnings will be shared with organizations that can help lift our communities or transform the lives of those most in need.
The problem with looking for such a giant windfall is that it causes us to miss the fact that in so many ways Catholic Charities of New Hampshire has already won the lottery. Anyone attending our annual Mardi Gras event last month would have seen that we have some of the most caring, compassionate, loyal, and generous donors anywhere. Our many supporters include people of great and average means who recognize the needs of others and devote their time, talents and treasure to assisting others. They invest in our programs and services and in doing so make a profound impact on the lives of those who are struggling in ways that are unimaginable to most of us.
What may seem like a simple gesture—a financial gift—sends ripples in many directions whose ultimate impact cannot be fully measured. A family is able to heat their home during winter’s frigid months. Children who would go through their week without the certainty of food to keep them from hunger receive nutritious meals. Families struggling with the addiction of a loved one are provided with comfort and support. A frightened and uncertain new mother is given the support and guidance she needs to carry her child through a healthy pregnancy and birth and a hopeful future. The discouraged find steady work that helps them provide for themselves and others. An immigrant is welcomed and given the legal guidance and support needed to imagine a life free from fear.
Such things happen every day at Catholic Charities. And they happen in the name of Christ who calls us to be his hands and feet. And these things happen because of the steadfast generosity of our donors who bring aid to people they may never meet.
The tax law going into effect may eliminate for many the financial incentives for charitable giving. This is certainly a cause for some anxiety for not-for-profit organizations like ours. But what we are counting on at Catholic Charities is that the real incentive for giving that has always motivated our donors is the foundational commandment of our shared faith: love of God, and love of neighbor. Our donors give because they desire to serve the Lord and, as they frequently tell me, “You do good work.” They know that this “good work” is the work of the Good Samaritan, caring for our neighbors wherever they are and however they are suffering.
We know that no tax laws will alter the hearts of people who are motivated to give because they desire to love and serve God, and to love and serve him by caring for their neighbors. Such people make up the collective heart that supports the good work of Catholic Charities, and, as our annual appeal approaches we offer our enduring thanks on behalf of those we serve, knowing that we have already won the lottery!