To the Editor:
Our diocese will take up the collection for Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) on Nov. 17 and 18. CCHD is the anti-poverty program of the U.S. Catholic bishops. This collection lifts up the voices of people who live in poverty and creates change in their communities. All CCHD-funded organizations must have Catholic involvement and confirm in writing that they will adhere to the teachings of the Catholic Church. The organizations are vetted in our diocese by the CCHD director, CCHD commission, approved by the bishop and then vetted by a committee at the national level and given final approval by the U.S. bishops.
Twenty-five percent of the collection stays in our diocese. Those funds have changed our communities through such initiatives as Drug and Mental Health Courts and community IDs. Immigrants and refugees have joined with other community members to become a voice for justice. CCHD also assisted in funding the Mottet Leadership Institute and TeamCan organizing in trailer parks in our diocese. Two of our locally funded groups also receive national grants: Quad Cities Interfaith (QCI) and Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa (CWJ). QCI has assisted in the formation of groups in Iowa City and Clinton and CWJ is working with TeamCan in Columbus Junction and Iowa City.
Jesus taught us to feed and clothe the poor and tend the sick, to love one another and to welcome the stranger. He showed us the way to empower people to become leaders in their communities. They advocate for safe and affordable housing and provide opportunities for training that can lead to jobs that pay a living wage.
To find out more about the organizations funded by CCHD go to www.usccb.org. You will be able to see all of the wonderful work in communities funded by CCHD.
CCHD Diocesan Director