Charity and Development Appeal (CDA)
The CDA supports more than 70 charitable organizations connected to the Diocese of Phoenix.
Support of the annual Charity and Development Appeal changes lives — forever.
Donations metaphorically grow hands and feet to serve those in need or crisis, like residents of the CDA-funded, My Sister’s Place, a Catholic Charities domestic violence shelter.
One mother, “Suzie,” and her two children arrived at the shelter to escape drugs, alcohol and abuse.
The 38-year-old said the last straw came when a gun was held to her head after trying to help her mother, who is also in an abusive relationship.
“It’s a cycle I’ve seen all my life with my mom — a vicious cycle — and I’m trying to break it,” she said. “I’ve never been in a shelter before, and it was a really scary thing, but they are helping me because I don’t have to go back to my boyfriend or mom. I can do what I need to with the resources they give me.”
Last year Catholic Charities received $780,000 in grant money to support its mission of helping the vulnerable residents in Arizona through programs like MSP.
“All the money we get from the CDA goes directly into services for the women, children and men who are victims of abuse,” said Sheryl Christianson, senior programs manager of MSP. “There are things not budgeted that need to be covered, and any extra money helps keep the shelter open and running.”
The emergency shelter, founded in 1985, has a total of 30 beds for men, women and children. The maximum length of stay is 120 days, and residents currently average a stay of 48 days.
Supporting the annual Charity and Development Appeal is an opportunity for Catholics to respond to the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
The annual diocesan appeal supports community and charitable organizations that assist needy individuals and families — reaching beyond any one parish.
“During this Year of Mercy, we are called to remember and participate in spiritual and corporal works of mercy. The Charity and Development Appeal (CDA) supports the many works of mercy across our diocese,” said Carrie Aranda, CDA director.
“A gift to the CDA provides food and drink to those who are hungry and thirsty, instruction for children and seminarians and welcome and comfort to the sick and the stranger. We are called to be instruments of God’s mercy, and a gift to the CDA is one of the ways that we can answer that call.”
Since its inception more than 40 years ago, the appeal supports spiritual, charitable and educational organizations which numbers more than 70.
Throughout the four Arizona counties within the diocese — Mohave, Maricopa, Coconino and Yavapai — works of mercy are exemplified through the organizations that strengthen families, promote life and assist in a crisis.
Dawn Curtis is “Suzie’s” case manager at MSP, and does goal and safety planning with her and other clients.
She also counsels them about a continuum of care through the Pathways Program once they leave the shelter.
“As an active Catholic, I do believe in what the CDA stands for,” Curtis said. “Working for an agency that is a recipient of CDA funding, it does make a difference.”
Fleeing violence to find safety (Catholic Charities)
Ruby thrives at My Sisters’ Place (Catholic Charities)
Man escapes domestic violence (Catholic Charities)
Woman earns ‘In the Trenches’ award for domestic violence efforts across borders (The Georgia Bulletin)
Homily (Archdiocese of Chicago)