United States Bishops launch New Media Campaign Focusing on Solutions to Poverty

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) this month launched a new national awareness campaign that calls attention to the 37 million Americans now living in poverty, in “Poverty in America Awareness Month.”

Timed to coincide with the beginning of Poverty in America Awareness Month, the new CCHD-sponsored campaign uses television, radio and print ads to attract The poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2004, representing an increase of 1.1 million more poor people.  This is the fourth year in a row that the poverty rate in America has risen.

According to Timothy Collins, Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, "Not only does CCHD work to raise awareness of the alarming incidence of poverty in the United States; it spreads the 'good news' as well. The success stories in this year’s public service ads are all the result of the community-based, self-help projects that are funded by CCHD.”

This year’s ad campaign offers a message of hope by showing children in Los Angeles who once walked in fear after school and now arrive safely home as they are protected from street violence by a dedicated group of volunteers. It also visits Wisconsin where a group of family dairy farmers joined together to start their own cooperative in order to pool production and get a better price for their milk. And, finally, the new campaign features young people in New Orleans who are learning from experts in the food service industry the skills they need to find better jobs and build a better future.

Since its inception, the Campaign has provided seed money to train leaders in the community for projects that are initiated and led by low-income people themselves. Over the years, CCHD has offered a total of $280 million to more than 4,000 such projects. During this current year, the Campaign is supporting 315 local projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Established in 1970 by the U.S. Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is one of the largest private funders of self-help programs initiated and led by poor people in the United States.

Editors: For further information, contact Barbara Stephenson at CCHD, 202-541-3364 or bstephenson@usccb.org

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