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"To love and serve our neighbors as ourselves."

Our Annual Catholic Charities Recognition Dinner is quickly approaching. Each year, we award select individuals with the Matthew 25 Youth Humanitarian Award and the Monsignor William M. Griffin Humanitarian Award.

The Matthew 25 Youth Humanitarian Award is given to up to two elementary and up to two high school students for demonstrating exceptional service to their communities, specifically the poor and needy.

The Monsignor William M. Griffin Humanitarian Award is given to individuals demonstrating a significant, long-term commitment (professional or volunteer) to serving the poor, marginalized, and most vulnerable within our diocesan community.

Click on the links above to learn more about each award and to download the nomination forms. Nominations are due by March 22, 2016.

Award winners will be recognized at the Catholic Charities Annual Recognition Dinner on Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at the Blair County Convention Center.

On Ash Wednesday, Catholics around the world will fast as a symbolic start to the holy season. But fasting is about much more than reflection, repentance, and forgoing food. It is a reminder that there are people around the world--and right here in our community--who are forced to fast today and every day due to poverty, injustice, and homelessness.

Face of HomelessnessOn the surface, Annie* seemed to have it all: two young sons and a long-time husband. But underneath, Annie was an abused woman. When she finally got the courage to separate from her emotionally-abusive husband, she found herself alone with her two young special-needs boys and no place to turn.

Due to the behavioral needs of the children, placement in another shelter setting was not successful. Thanks to community support of our homeless program, Catholic Charities was able to assist Annie and her sons with shelter, links with agencies to get back into safe housing, and continued support during the first few months.

A recent state survey revealed a staggering figure: more than 23,000 Pennsylvania households entered the winter months with no heat -- a number that has been steadily on the rise in the last decade. Every year, Catholic Charities provides emergency financial assistance, including emergency heating assistance, to households in need in our community. Thanks to continued generous donations from individuals, families, and businesses, we are able to continue our mission to love and serve our neighbors as ourselves.

For families living in poverty, winter can be an especially difficult time.  One in three households in our eight-county Diocesan area is struggling to afford basic human necessities including:

  • Heat 
  • Shelter
  • Utilities like electricity, water, natural gas 
  • Lifesaving medications

Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown embraces the responsibility of supporting these individuals and families. A new giving society, the Guild of Guardians, was recently developed to make a bigger impact on Catholic Charities’ efforts to fight poverty on a local level.

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