By Andrew Nelson, Staff Writer | Published December 7, 2018
St. Pius X High School, Atlanta, earned national recognition for its success on #iGiveCatholic day, as part of a record-breaking fundraising blitz.
Donors opened their wallets to give $585,347 to ministries in the Atlanta Archdiocese during the fundraising #iGiveCatholic campaign.
On Tuesday, Nov. 27, 115 ministries in the Archdiocese of Atlanta participated in the online event. The day has been dubbed #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving, coming after the days of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The Catholic community has adopted the day to spur contributions to church ministries as many people give to charities in December.
The dollars raised in Atlanta nearly doubled the goal set by organizers. Supporters gave in total $600,000, including online giving and gifts directly given to ministries, according to the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia. The average gift was $211, a 62 percent increase from 2017.
“We could never have imagined the generosity of the Catholics in the Archdiocese of Atlanta when we began #iGiveCatholic this year. We are so very grateful for the many gifts that will make a real difference to our parishes, schools and ministries, now and in the future,” said Maureen Cully, marketing and communications manager at the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia. The foundation coordinates the campaign on the local level.
Atlanta ministries and schools earn national recognition
The St. Pius X High School community raised $112,116 for its annual fund. It was the fourth highest amount raised across the country and highest ranking school out of 28 participating U.S. dioceses.
School president Chad Barwick said he knew families would contribute, but the number of student contributors surprised him.
“In a powerful way, we were blown away by student donations to the challenge, especially from more than 100 seniors who gave from their own wallets and pocketbooks. Our prayers of thanksgiving continue as we see how much people love the mission at St. Pius X,” he said in an email.
The financial support helps the annual fund to pay for security improvements, fund the school chaplaincy and other projects for the 1,095 students, he said.
“Our alumni, current families, parents of alumni, and friends have astounded us with their willingness to achieve our annual fund needs,” he said.
Another notable in Atlanta was St. Lawrence Church, Lawrenceville. The parish had the highest number of donors nationwide with 366 participants.
Kelly Schreckenberger, the director of evangelization/communications at the Gwinnett church, said the parish felt “blessed, overwhelmed, filled with gratitude.”
She said the goal for the year was “just one more dollar and one more giver than last year, and our final numbers blew us away.” The parish raised $54,000.
The parish reached its goal with more than five hours to go in the day, she said. “I honestly just looked upward and thanked God.”
The parish’s goal is to encourage missionary discipleship so “all may encounter Christ, grow as disciples, and share the Gospel,” she said.
“People are excited with what is happening at St. Lawrence, and it shows,” said Schreckenberger. The funds will pay for directional signage and liturgical enhancements to keep St. Lawrence vibrant and relevant, she added.
Others in the national top 10 on the number of donors were Blessed Trinity High School, at number three with 253 donors; Queen of Angels School at number four with 246 supporters, and St. Pius X High School with 217 contributors.
The next #iGiveCatholic day is scheduled for Dec. 3, 2019.