It has been an extraordinary Lenten season, as we collectively wrestle and cope with fears, suffering, uncertainty, separation, and numerous adjustments to our usual daily routine as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
As we enter into the holiest of weeks in the Christian calendar, I eagerly anticipate the celebration of Jesus Christ’s triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday, a symbol of hope for Christians everywhere. It reminds me that God’s love is more powerful than anything the world can dish out. He will not abandon us, and we too shall be triumphant. On that, I rest my faith.
I pray with all for the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, as this season of rebirth unfolds. Yet it is woefully clear to me the full impact is yet to come, as this healthcare crisis becomes an economic one. People who struggle with poverty and other hardships carry a heavier burden and more uncertainty than most. Consequently, we have seen the need for our services spike in recent weeks. Predictions are that the pandemic’s economic impact will be felt for months, and possibly years, to come.
As an essential services provider, Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton has remained open and operational throughout this crisis, precisely because this vulnerable population relies on us for their most basic needs.
Yet much has changed for us. Because of social distancing, we have postponed fundraising events that are critical to our mission of helping others. More people need food, so our pantry shelves are getting dangerously low. With home confinement, more are suffering with mental illness, addiction, and domestic violence.
It has become clear that the fight to contain the coronavirus has taken on the scale of a major war. So we must act on such a scale to ensure we will be able to continue serving people in need in Central Jersey, as we have for over 100 years. That’s why we have created the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Coronavirus Crisis Fund.
The Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Coronavirus Crisis Fund
It is critical that we raise $250,000 by June 30 to ensure that we can continue providing for the underprivileged in our community. We desperately need the generosity of our supporters to make it through this difficult time. Throughout this crisis, our dedicated staff has been responding to the growing needs of our community. We want them to continue to do so – no matter what lies ahead. We will use Crisis Fund donations to help people directly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in these ways:
• Emergency financial relief
• Food assistance
• Access to teletherapy for the uninsured who struggle with depression, anxiety, and stress
• Support for children and families in need, including 24/7 crisis services
This Crisis Fund is intended to create meaningful change for those who need it most. The fund already is off to an inspiring start, with over $65,000 pledged or given so far from private donors and others. That includes a $10,000 COVID-19 Emergency Response Grant from the Jersey Shore-based Grunin Foundation and $15,000 from the Princeton Area Community Foundation‘s COVID-19 Response and Relief Fund. As a reminder, we serve everyone, regardless of their religious faith or ability to pay. And nearly 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to our programs.
In normal times, our donors are our heroes. We need our heroes now more than ever to help us achieve our ambitious goal. We don’t know what the future holds, or how long this may continue. So it is critical that our supporters respond generously and quickly now, to ensure our survival. We are indeed all one human family, and we have a responsibility to each other.
How to help
To learn more about the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Trenton Coronavirus Crisis Fund, go here.
Get updates on our services through this crisis here.
Learn more about the impact the coronavirus crisis and social distancing have had on charities here.
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