ROC the Day donations to the Christmas Appeal will enable Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester to continue providing small, emergency grants to people — regardless of faith, race, ethnic and economic background — who are in financial crisis. Funds generated by this annual campaign, which is co-sponsored by the Catholic Courier newspaper and Catholic Charities, have been used to cover utility bills, security deposits, rent or mortgage payments, urgent home repairs, gas, prescriptions and other expenses for individuals and families who are either awaiting or ineligible for other types of assistance.
Every donation - large or small - gives people hope and helps them get back on the road to independence.
Unrestricted emergency funds are needed now more than ever because the number of people who have fallen below the poverty line has been steadily increasing, straining service organizations dedicated to helping them. Nationally, more than 15 percent of U.S. residents live in poverty, marking a steady increase since 2006 when the poverty rate was 12.3%, according to Census Bureau estimates. That means nearly 10 million people have slipped below the poverty line in less than five years!
Half of all City of Rochester residents under the age of 18 currently live below the poverty line, according to 2010 Census data. The ranks of the poor are also swelling in the suburbs, where people are suffering the effects of long-term joblessness, rising fuel costs and plummeting real estate values. From 2009 to 2010, the percentage of people living below the poverty line in Ontario County alone grew 27 percent from 7.8 percent to 9.9 percent.
At the same time, government agencies have slashed programs in order to balance their budgets, leaving fewer dollars available for home heating assistance, emergency housing and other outreach programs for the poor.
Due to these factors, local Catholic Charities agencies are serving more people than ever, including many middle-income people who say they never before have had to ask for assistance.
The Christmas Appeal is rooted in the Catholic faith, which upholds the dignity of all people and the sacredness of life at all stages and in all circumstances.
We focus on: Human Services, Religion
Where we are: Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne, Yates
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