Annual Diocesan Appeal gifts $475,000 to Catholic Charities Fort Worth’s anti-poverty work

North Texas Catholic
(Feb 16, 2024) Local

Clint Weber, at right, and Bishop Michael Olson present a donation of $475,000 to the president of Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, Michael Iglio, at left, on Feb. 16, 2024. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

FORT WORTH — It’s not every day that a four-foot-long check exchanges hands, and it’s not every day that Catholic Charities Fort Worth receives a donation of nearly half a million dollars.

But it is every day that the nonprofit works to lift local families out of poverty, and this large gift will support those efforts.

On Feb. 16, Bishop Michael Olson and Clint Weber, president of the Advancement Foundation for the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, presented the oversized check totaling $475,000 to Michael Iglio, president and CEO of Catholic Charities Fort Worth.

The funds were donated by parishioners of the Diocese of Fort Worth through the Annual Diocesan Appeal, an Advancement Foundation campaign which also benefits small parishes, seminarian education, Catholic schools, permanent deacon formation, and other needs within the diocese.

Iglio stated that the grant will support two initiatives: Gabriel Project, which provides material, spiritual, and emotional help to women in crisis pregnancies through the baby’s first 18 months; and the Out of Poverty program, which offers research-backed solutions to end poverty and transform lives.

CCFW is the diocese’s “primary arm for corporal works of mercy,” said Weber, who praised both Bishop Olson’s “vision of always putting the poor first” and Annual Diocesan Appeal donors for their generosity, which he described as “inspirational for us at the Foundation.”

The grant was larger than the last two years, Weber continued, which was made possible because average gifts and the number of donors both increased from past years, “regardless of what people have been facing, whether it’s inflation or COVID or other things.”

CCFW is a wise steward of the grant, assured Iglio, with more than 93 percent of funds going directly to serve clients.

What donors may not know, Iglio explained, is CCFW’s “superpower, our differentiator that is backed by research, our ability to help people and their families achieve a life out of poverty. To stop the revolving door.

“We want people to find a life of sustainability, and that takes sometimes months or years of coaching,” he continued.

This donation allows CCFW to serve more clients in its proven programs, said the CCFW president.

Bishop Olson has been a strong advocate for this approach, which began ten years ago with research initiatives on effective means to end poverty, according to Iglio.

“Bishop [Olson] has been a phenomenal supporter in his heart, and his passion and joy is really seeing transformational change in people’s lives. I’m tremendously grateful for Bishop Olson’s continued support and belief in our poverty-ending work,” said Iglio.

Iglio also encouraged more Catholic faithful to learn and further support the work of CCFW. “As we continue to live our mission as an organization, we call others around us to serve, be it with time, talent, or treasure, and welcome anyone to join us, helping in our relentless pursuit to end poverty,” he concluded.

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