Photo courtesy of
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Laboring against poverty in the nation for more than 50 years, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development – the national anti-poverty program of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops – will conduct its annual collection in parishes nationwide Nov. 12-13.

Traditionally taken up the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and coinciding with the annual observance of the World Day of the Poor Nov. 13, the collection is the primary source of funding for the USCCB subcommittee, and allows CCHD to “offer a hand up, not a hand out” to the more than 46 million people who live in poverty in the U.S., as stated on the USCCB website. “[It helps] low-income people participate in decisions that affect their lives, families and communities … [and] that encourage independence.” Twenty-five percent of funds collected remain in the Diocese to support local anti-poverty efforts.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau statistics on Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the U.S. in 2018, “There is a thin line: between eviction and home, between hunger and health, between unemployment and work, between anxiety and stability. This line is the Poverty Line.  For a family of four, that line is $25,750 a year.”

In addition to offering assistance, the funds collected by the annual campaign go toward education on poverty and its causes. “This strategy of education for justice and helping people who are poor speak and act for themselves reflects the mandate of the Scriptures and the principles of Catholic social teaching,” the collection literature explains. “CCHD provides the Catholic faithful with concrete opportunities to live out the love of God and neighbor in ways that express our baptismal call and continuing Eucharistic transformation. CCHD is made possible by the generous support of Catholics in the United States, especially through an annual parish collection.”

Through CCHD, seven dioceses in Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas engaged in an initiative, “Recognizing the Stranger,” where 700 immigrant parishioners were mentored to become social and pastoral leaders. These new community leaders facilitated conversations between members of the community and local law enforcement, and the dialogue yielded powerful results, including three police departments agreeing to honor parish identification cards for those lacking government identification. This eased community tensions and led to a surge in parish registrations by Catholics who had previously stayed in the shadows.

In 2021, CCHD distributed more than $12.7 million to over 200 groups across the United States that are addressing the root causes of poverty and empowering people who are most vulnerable.

More information about the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is available at Other resources including collection materials can be found at