the cchd collection: possible alternatives

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 21, 2009

This is the weekend of the special collection for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Skepticism about the CCHD's bait-and-switch rhetoric has been expressed on this site often (go here, or here, or here, or here), on the grounds that the public appeal is aimed at the relief of poverty, while the funds collected are aimed at overcoming poverty: political manipulation of the state purse.

Bishop Roger Morin finds the criticisms of the CCHD "outrageous." Well, judge for yourself. A complete list of the 2009 grantees can be found here. Go ahead, do a search for the word "Catholic" and see what you come up with.  If you have more time, read the brief prospectus given for each grantee and ask if it corresponds to the notion of aiding the poor by which the Church appealed to your generosity and in response to which your compassion was engaged. 

If your heart is warmed by the CCHD grantees, great: go for it! If not, there are alternatives.

A group calling itself Reform CCHD Now provides a printable coupon that you can put into the collection basket in place of CCHD donation. On the coupon it explains, "This year, I will give the money I would have given to the CCHD to another organization which is fully in agreement with Church teaching on social justice and family and life issues." The point is that the coupon in the basket and (just as important) the redirected donation might help send a message to the right folks.

But where to target the redirected money? Among many worthy recipients, let me single out Mother Teresa's sisters, the Missionaries of Charity. Consider these factors:

  • The money will go for the relief of the poorest of the poor.
  • The "overhead" is as low as low can go.
  • Funds will not be diverted toward feminist consciousness-raising workshops or accessories for business apparel.
  • The sisters are exuberantly Catholic; those they feed, bathe, comfort and clothe may be of any faith or none.

Their U.S. address for donation:

Missionaries of Charity
335 E. 145th Street
Bronx, NY 10451

A final point: donors to the Missionaries of Charity get a brief written acknowledgment, but no further solicitation whatsoever.  Your call.

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  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Nov. 23, 2009 6:56 PM ET USA

    Terrific idea! This is the way to really help the poor. I've always wondered why most charities that I give money to, spend every bit of my donation on mailings trying to get me to send more.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Nov. 21, 2009 2:30 PM ET USA

    Hurrah for you, Di. I have sent my check to the Missionaries of Charity instead of CCHD for years. And at other times of year as well. Mother Teresa, of course, made it a rule that they must never ask for money, but depend on God for their support. People in or near Archbishop Niederauer's see can send to their local chapter at 164 Milagra Drive, Pacifica, CA 94044. I wouldn't do any harm to send a few extra bucks to Catholic, too.