The Northeast Ohio Catholic community united on Tuesday, November 28, with a spirit of gratefulness and generosity to celebrate #weGiveCatholic, Northeast Ohio’s online day of Catholic giving. This was the second year that the Diocese of Cleveland held their annual giving day on Giving Tuesday, an international day of giving. During the 24-hour period, #weGiveCatholic raised $702,379 for 175 participating Catholic organizations that serve people of all faiths, races, and backgrounds in our region. The amount raised represents a 70% increase when compared to 2016.
#weGiveCatholic also raised awareness for Catholic schools, parishes, ministries, Catholic Charities sites and programs, and other Catholic nonprofits that make a positive impact on Northeast Ohio through the variety of programs and services they provide. This year, initiatives involving updating school technology and centered around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) seemed to rule the day. Other causes that garnered large support included construction of a new playground at St. Edward School in Ashland; funding for an outdoor Stations of the Cross Walkway to be placed on a path created by young parishioners at Church of the Holy Angels in Chagrin Falls; support for feeding the homeless a St. Malachi Church Food Ministry on Cleveland’s near west side; and necessary improvements for Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine run by the Sisters of the Most Holy Trinity located in Euclid.
The day began with morning Mass at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist offered in thanksgiving for the donors of the Diocese, and Bishop Nelson J. Perez making appearances on local TV and radio to raise awareness of the day and invite support through the #weGiveCatholic website. “The day embodied two prominent Catholic virtues: gratefulness and joy. It is because we are grateful for the many gifts that God has given that we are able to respond with joy and generosity in supporting institutions that carry out the mission of Jesus on earth,” says Bishop Perez. His thoughts reflect the many heartfelt comments of gratitude posted by people as they made their donations on the #weGiveCatholic site.
Throughout the day, participating organizations engaged in a “friendly” competition to gain the most supporters and win awards from a $60,000 prize pool, which was raised in advance by the Catholic Community Foundation, the Diocesan organization that hosted and promoted #weGiveCatholic.
Catholic Community Foundation Executive Director, Patrick Grace, says: “#weGiveCatholic is our gift to the Northeast Ohio Catholic Community. Our role was to engage participating organizations and help them to reach their donors, most especially new and younger donors, through an online day of giving. It is our privilege to do so for the wonderful organizations that touch the very soul of Catholics in Northeast Ohio. The day was only a success because of the willingness and efforts of the pastors, principals, volunteers, executive directors, board members, and staff members who participated in this event. Congratulations to them all.”
A list of the #weGiveCatholic giving day results, including amounts raised by individual organizations and prizes awarded can be viewed at www.weGiveCatholic.org.