Giving Tuesday Offers Way to Support Diocese’s Parishes and Ministries


By Colleen Rowan

On Giving Tuesday (Dec.1), the faithful will have the chance to provide much needed support for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston’s parishes and ministries. Heidi Sforza, assistant director of Stewardship and Development for the diocese, explained that Giving Tuesday is a global day of kindness and generosity celebrated the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. “There are a number of ways to participate in Giving Tuesday,” she said, “whether its donating funds, signing up to participate in a new ministry, volunteering, or praying—every act counts!” This year, Giving Tuesday is being held in lieu of the Catholic Sharing Appeal. “We had planned the appeal to kick off just as the pandemic hit. Therefore, we suspended the appeal,” said Krissie Benson, director of Stewardship and Development for the diocese. “This one day of giving is one small way that we can allow donors to continue to support their parish, as well as shared ministries such as Catholic education, Catholic Charities and evangelization.” The diocese’s parishes have continued to serve their communities in many creative and new ways throughout the pandemic, Sforza said. At the same time, she continued, they have also had to cancel or postpone many of the events and fundraisers they rely on for financial support. “Giving Tuesday is a fun opportunity to help them recover some of that lost funding,” she said, “while also building up their online community and sharing their faith!” Sforza said the full amount of one’s donation will go to his or her parish. There will also be an opportunity to make donations to Catholic Education, Evangelization and Catholic Charities West Virginia. The Giving Tuesday website was set to go live Nov. 20, and will be available for those who wish to make their donation early. The website will be open to accept donations through Dec. 2. Every parish will have its own profile page within the website. Donations can also be dropped off at one’s parish or in the collection basket during Mass. Donors should include Giving Tuesday on the memo line of their checks. This will be the first Giving Day for the parishes, which opens on the heels of the success of the diocese’s one-day fund- raising event for its Catholic schools—One Mission, One Day to Make a Difference—held this past spring. Almost $235,000 was raised for the 19 participating schools. “It was a wonderful show of support for our Catholic schools, especially considering we were in the midst of the pandemic and all of our schools were learning from home,” Sforza said. Catholic schools are planning another giving day May 4. In looking ahead to Giving Tuesday for parishes and ministries, Sforza believes it will be a success even in the continuing coronavirus pandemic. “In this time of uncertainty,” she said, “there’s a fundamental truth that can give us hope— together we can do great things!”