By SAMANTHA SMITH, Staff Writer | Published December 26, 2019
ATLANTA—Some 3,100 donors contributed more than $680,000 to 94 Archdiocese of Atlanta ministries during the #iGiveCatholic campaign on Tuesday, Dec. 3.
This is an increase from last year’s campaign, which totaled nearly 3,000 donors raising $650,000 to serve Atlanta ministries.
Coordinated locally by the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, #iGiveCatholic is an online giving day that brings the Catholic community together to give back. According to the foundation, this day rallies “our Catholic community in support of organizations that shape our souls—our parishes, schools and nonprofit ministries.”
This year, online contributions totaled more than 28,000 gifts from 48 states and six countries, including Afghanistan, Belgium, Canada, Hong Kong and Mexico. Nationally, #iGiveCatholic raised more than $7.4 million for 37 dioceses and archdioceses.
Campus Catholics of the University of West Georgia was the top ministry and a first-time participant this year. The ministry raised funds to “realize the dream” of having a center on campus, exceeding its goal of $15,000 by approximately $1,300.
This “has been a clear reminder that the seemingly impossible mission of building the Catholic Center at UWG is truly possible,” said Norma Rothschadl, campus minister at the university. “St. John Henry Newman, our intercessor for this project, said it best—‘Do thy part and leave the rest to heaven.’”
This was also the first year that archdiocesan preschools participated in Giving Day on Dec. 3. St. Catherine of Siena Preschool in Kennesaw raised more than $10,000 towards an outdoor classroom to be used and shared with neighboring St. Catherine of Siena School and church communities.
All schools in the Archdiocese of Atlanta received at least one donation. Of the funds raised locally, 58 percent supported schools, nearly 30 percent supported parishes and 13 percent supported ministries.
For the third year, St. Pius X High School was the top school in the Atlanta Archdiocese, raising more than $140,000 for its annual fund. Some 330 donors contributed to the efforts of various updates on campus, including advances in technology and security, new band uniforms, a full-time chaplain and athletic equipment. St. Pius X was also the top school across the nation in dollars raised.
Donna and Bill Hungeling supported St. Pius X High School this year because they believe in Catholic education.
“We have the benefit of collectively experiencing over 200 years of Catholic education between our children, their spouses, grandchildren and ourselves … we are compelled to help ensure future generations can reap the same rewards we have,” said the Hungelings.
Queen of Angels School in Roswell was the top grade school in the archdiocese, with 230 donors raising in excess of $72,000 for its annual fund.
The parish with the most dollars raised was Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Atlanta. To support the parish’s Laudato Si’ efforts, 121 donors raised $48,200 for new LED lights around the church. St. Lawrence Church in Lawrenceville had the most donors of any participant in the Atlanta Archdiocese, with 382 donors contributing toward a new organ, statue of St. Joseph and an image of the prodigal son and father near confessionals.
Holy Redeemer School, John’s Creek, used creativity with a Murray Mustache Challenge, sponsored by Kevin and Sam Murray. When $2,500 was raised by Dec. 2, the Murrays matched the gift with an additional $2,500 and faculty and staff wore fake mustaches on Giving Tuesday to celebrate.
Nancy Coveny, president of the Catholic Foundation of North Georgia, is thankful for the generous support this year.
“We have provided #iGiveCatholic because we believe it is good for our local Catholic community,” she said.
The next #iGiveCatholic day will be Dec. 1, 2020.