Catholic Campaign for Human Development (USA)
source – www.usccb.org/cchd
The message at the heart of Catholic social teaching has always been justice and hope for the poor. The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is Catholic social teaching in action.
The National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) established the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, the Catholic Church’s domestic anti-poverty program, in 1969 with two purposes. The first purpose was to raise funds to support “organized groups of white and minority poor to develop economic strength and political power.” The second purpose was to “educate the People of God to a new knowledge of today’s problems . . . that can lead to some new approaches that promote a greater sense of solidarity.”
The CCHD philosophy emphasizes empowerment and participation for the poor. By helping the poor to participate in the decisions and actions that affect their lives, CCHD empowers them to move beyond poverty.
During its 36-year history, CCHD has provided more than 7,800 grants to self-help projects developed by grassroots groups of poor persons. Each year CCHD distributes national grants to more than 300 projects based in local communities. In addition, hundreds of smaller projects are funded through the 25 percent share of the CCHD collection retained by dioceses. The projects’ successes and the relationships developed have significantly changed the lives of the poor in our country.
CCHD is supported solely by private donations. The program owes its success to Catholic parishioners whose contributions to the annual parish appeal have made meeting CCHD’s objectives possible over the years. Most funds come from the once-a-year CCHD collection, scheduled in most dioceses for the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Eighty-nine cents out of every dollar received by CCHD goes directly to community empowerment, economic development, and education programs that work to break the cycle of poverty.
A permanent subcommittee of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of five bishops and nine lay/religious consultants has the overall responsibility for CCHD�s activities. The bishops elect an episcopal chairman for a three-year term. Bishop Roger P. Morin, Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans, is the current CCHD chairman. The USCCB president appoints the other subcommittee members in consultation with the chairman. Subcommittee responsibilities include setting policy and making final funding decisions.
Diocesan bishops, with whom we collaborate regularly, appoint directors to manage the full range of CCHD’s activities at the local level. These responsibilities include reviewing and evaluating national and local funding applications, monitoring funded programs, supporting seedling organizations, providing educational resources, and promoting the diocesan fund-raising campaign to support the annual collection. CCHD continues a tradition of strong local-national collaboration.
The national staff manages day-to-day operations of CCHD’s programs and activities, including allocations, education, and promotion. An executive director appointed by the USCCB General Secretary provides overall leadership and direction to the staff and organization.