Charity in aid and action
by Chad Prososki | Catholic Charities
Prososki | Catholic Charities
For many local nonprofits, Giving Hearts Day is so important in keeping the doors open. For Catholic Charities ND, it is one of our biggest events of the year, along with the Catholic Charities Sunday. Gifts received from Giving Hearts Day make up a significant portion of all the donations we receive throughout the year.
Just as importantly, the news coverage leading up to Giving Hearts Day gives an unmatched opportunity for us to share our positive stories of helping people in need beyond our typical audience. The event reminds people of the great work nonprofits do. Not only does it help them financially, it helps advertise to those in need of counseling or other services available to them. People of different faiths or no affiliation also learn about and consider supporting our work, especially younger generations and millennials who may be more inclined to give online.
According to the Impact Foundation’s website, impactgiveback.org, this year more than $13.1 million was raised for local nonprofits through online donations and checks. Such generosity shows the power of many individuals working together. In fact, more than 28,000 participants, gave to more than 400 causes. Catholic Charities ND, Catholic Schools, local pro-life organizations, healthcare providers, and many other organizations thank all who participated this year. At Catholic Charities, we were blessed to reach our goal with over $50,000 in total donations, which is greatly needed for our growing counseling and adoption programs.
If the results of Giving Hearts Day are any indication, we can remain confident that the good people of North Dakota will continue to help the less fortunate by providing aid and assistance through their favorite charities. The hosts of Giving Hearts Day believe not only will we continue to support our neighbors, but that “Together, we are becoming the most generous region on the planet!”
As important as your support is, the call to charity requires more than financial aid. It has been said that journalists should “comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.” Often repeated, this phrase was traced back more than 100 years to Finley Peter Dunne of the Chicago Evening Post. Later this phrase encouraged Christians and others to help those in need and to be a voice for the voiceless. In particular, this phrase has been attributed to Catholic convert Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker Movement. Along with Peter Maurin, Dorothy Day opened homes for the working poor, started a newspaper to give the poor a voice, and created a lasting effort that began during the Great Depression and continues today. In nearby Moorhead, Minn., we have both a Dorothy Day House and a Dorothy Day Food Pantry for hungry and homeless guests, and a Dorothy Day West Food Pantry at Holy Cross Catholic Church in West Fargo.
Yes, when we think of charity, we usually think of helping those in need. Yet charity is much more. Charity also requires justice. Dorothy Day is both a servant and an advocate, and the Catholic Social Teachings upon which our work rests require us equally to speak up against injustice and to offer our deep tradition of thought as a guide for solutions respecting the dignity of persons. Why stand up for those who are suffering? Beyond our Christian duty to love our neighbor, if we don’t stop persecutions of others now, who will stop them if they happens to us?
Thank you to all who make financial sacrifices to give to charity! This is incredibly important, but doing so does not absolve us from working to solve problems. Who is responsible for making the world a better place? Each of us are—you, me, everybody.
Chad Prososki is the Director of Development and Community Relations for Catholic Charities North Dakota. For more than 90 years, Catholic Charities North Dakota and its supporters have been putting their faith in action helping people, changing lives. You can reach Chad at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 235-4457.