Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte will host the 11th Annual Partners in Hope event on Thursday, February 27 at 5:30pm at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem. The annual fundraiser aims to raise $200,000 to support life-transforming Catholic Charities programs that fight poverty and support families in the Piedmont Triad region. The dinner will feature guest speaker Reverend Brian J. Cook, Pastor of St. Leo the Great Catholic Church. Bishop William G. Curlin, Bishop Emeritus of Charlotte, will be honored with the 2014 Partners in Hope Award. The Most Reverend Bishop J. Jugis, Bishop of Charlotte, and Dr. Gerard A. Carter, Executive Director/CEO of Catholic Charities Diocese of Charlotte, will also be in attendance.
In 2013, 600 attendees raised a combined total of $197,000. Funds collected last year allowed for the permanent staff position of a Coordinator of Direct Services in the Piedmont Triad Office (PTO). The new position has allowed the office to work with families long-term through a crisis to reach stability and success. “Catholic Charities is unique because we strive to provide services to the whole family rather than helping just individuals. The more ways we touch a family with varied services, the better the impact,” says Diane Bullard, PTO Director. The Coordinator offers help and support that allow for a greater impact on those we serve. Last year the office provided 115,510 pounds of food and supplies to 3,488 individuals in 1,098 households. “It is extremely humbling to answer the call for help. We walk away from interactions with the hope that our services have alleviated some of the stress associated with issues of poverty, but there is always the feeling that we need to do more,” Bullard says. Nearly 200 people received direct financial assistance, and an additional 440 people had assistance over the holidays. The office in Winston-Salem also has a special focus on Youth Crisis and Teen Parenting programs.