by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The countdown has begun! Have you . . .
. . . reinterred the Halloween decorations?
. . . made room in the freezer for that frozen turkey?
. . . called Auntie Hilda to get the recipe for Grandma’s famous Thanksgiving green bean casserole?
. . . located the Christmas storage box in the shed/attic/closet/garage?
. . . gotten ready for #iGiveCatholic?
It’s understandable if you haven’t heard about it.
This is the first year the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has taken part in #iGiveCatholic, a new way to support Catholic ministries and institutions.
Vince Eimer, director of Christ’s Peace House of Prayer near Easton, hopes Catholic will respond. The retreat facility needs funds to do structural and cosmetic upgrades to its cabins. Some of their roofs need to be replaced.
Father Nick Blaha, chaplain and director of the Didde Catholic Campus Center at Emporia State University could use some help, too.
“The Didde programs have the potential to reach hundreds more students,” said Father Blaha.
“Funding is essential. Never before in the history of the center has there been opportunity to do more,” he added. “We are committed to complementing the secular education of ESU by advancing Catholic teachings, but we need your help. Would you prayerfully consider a gift that will help us ‘keep kids Catholic’?”
Michelle Gavin, principal of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne School in Garnett, hopes donors will have warm affection for rural Catholic schools like hers — especially since help in keeping the students warm is needed.
“Your donations to St. Rose Philippine Duchesne Catholic School will go toward the purchase of supplemental math and reading programs, improvements to building security, and upgrades to the heating system,” she said. “Thank you for your prayers and generosity.”
For years now, the days after Thanksgiving have become known for Black Friday (the first really big Christmas shopping day) and Cyber Monday (the first really big online Christmas shopping day).
A new day, in response to the frenzied commercialization of the aforementioned two, joined those in 2012: Giving Tuesday on Nov. 28 this year.
The new #iGiveCatholic is a spin-off of Giving Tuesday.
“It’s an online, 24-hour, crowdfunded campaign where donors will visit the iGiveCatholic.org website to make a minimum donation of $25 through a debit or credit card,” said Kathryn Robards, communications and administrative assistant for the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas.
“It will start at 12:01 a.m. and end at 11:59 p.m. on Nov. 28,” she said.
The very first #iGiveCatholic was only two years ago in 2015 in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The archdiocese had hoped to raise $500,000; they raised $1.3 million for various archdiocesan programs and agencies instead.
Seven dioceses participated in #iGiveCatholic last year, and in this — its third year — 17 dioceses are participating. Since this is the first year for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, organizers have not set a specific goal, but the overall goal of the 17 dioceses is $3.5 million.
Here’s how it works.
Go online to: www.iGiveCatholic.org.
This will take you to a page with the logos of the 45 or so participating archdiocesan parishes, ministries or institutions, where you can click on the logo of your choice.
This will take you to a page with information about the entity and its needs.
“There will be a donor form in their profile page, and that’s how you’ll create your transaction,” said Robards. “You’ll know exactly that you’re donating $25 [or more] to this specific parish or ministry or so on.
“In terms of the money being collected at the end for the organizations, the iGiveCatholic team collects all the money on their end and they will distribute a lump-sum check to all of the participating dioceses, and each diocese will distribute monies to each participating organization according to what they raised.”
During the 24-hour campaign, donors can go to the website and access the running totals at the top of the home page by clicking on “leaderboards.”
You can also find a specific organization by going to the “search” box at the upper right of the home page and typing in its name.
Can’t wait until Nov. 28 to give?
That’s OK. Advance giving can be done from Nov. 10 to 26 on the iGiveCatholic website.