Faithful Helpers

LAKEWOOD – This past Lent, parishioners of Sacred Heart Church in Lakewood opened their hearts – and their wallets – to those in need.

This generosity resulted in a 37 percent increase in donations, the highest percentage of increase in the Diocese of Buffalo, to Catholic Charities. With an original goal of about $22,000, the parishioners of the Sacred Heart raised $64,388.11 in five weeks, starting on the first Sunday of Lent and continuing on until Palm Sunday.

“The people were extra generous this year, but we had one donor who had been helped before. So, he gave extra this year also,” said Marilyn Wozneak, Catholic Charities chairperson for Sacred Heart. “Because of being helped through Catholic Charities, he wanted to give back. He was very grateful for Catholic Charities for helping him in his time of need, so he gave extra too.”

Catholic Charities helps everyone in need – not just Catholics. Regardless of religious denomination (or lack thereof), Catholic Charities offers food and counseling for those who need it.

“I think they try so extra hard that these people have food and help when they need it,” Wozneak said.

According to a press release, Catholic Charities empowers children, families and seniors to achieve meaningful, healthy and productive lives. In all situations, it delivers support to meet immediate needs and then assess for other needs to ensure long-term success. The most comprehensive human service provider serving all eight counties of Western New York, Catholic Charities receives the highest ratings for quality of service provided and financial health/accountability as rated by the Council on Accreditation and Charity navigator. Funds raised for Appeal 2014 support Catholic Charities’ 70 programs and services offered across 61 sites throughout Western New York.

Catholic Charities of Buffalo exceeded its $10.8 million goal with cash and pledges received to date totaling $11,001,057.29.

Sacred Heart can be found at 380 E. Fairmount Ave. Masses are said on 9 a.m. during the week, 5 p.m. on Saturday, 8:30 a.m. Sunday at Our Lady of the Snows in Panama and 10 a.m. Sunday at Sacred Heart. For more information, call the parish at 763-2815 or visit the website at