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September 2, 2009
Catholic Foundation donors transform lives and glorify God worldwide
By Teresa Devine
Donors to The Catholic Foundation are well aware of the daily challenges faced by God’s people in developing countries.
“Our donors live the beatitudes by saving the lives and easing the suffering of the sick and dying not only in northern Colorado but throughout the world,” said Bud Laber, president of The Catholic Foundation for the Roman Catholic Church in Northern Colorado.
Last year, foundation donors provided much needed humanitarian aid to India, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Peru. Perhaps the greatest impact was achieved through the cooperation of the India Projects Fund and Project C.U.R.E. (Commission on Urgent Relief and Equipment). India Projects Fund was established at the foundation to provide assistance to the poor and support the Church in India. Project C.U.R.E. helps meet the need for medical supplies, equipment and services around the world.
With significant volunteer hours and a grant of $5,000 from Rotary International and CASA, India Projects Fund together with Project C.U.R.E. were able to send $450,000 of used medical equipment to the Fatima Mission Hospital serving 100,000 of the poorest of the poor—particularly women—in the Dindigul area of India. When the India Projects Fund advisors became aware of the needs of the Bon Secours Sisters who administer Fatima Mission Hospital their work was already known to Father Herman Jayachandra, one of the fund’s advisors, from his days serving as a priest and pastor in southern India years ago.
“This is an investment return of over 9,000 percent on India Projects Fund funding,” according to Ralph Lidge, also an advisor of the fund. “We would like to repeat this experience and regularly meet the needs of the Church in India. Our goal includes the use of smart collaborations to gain exceptional value for our donors. We have the freedom to seek those collaborations knowing our donations are carefully stewarded at the foundation.”
Similarly, foundation donors Mark and Nancy Bauman provided financial assistance to build Our Lady of Hope Hospital in Mbujimayi, Democratic Republic of Congo. Mbujimayi is situated in the center-south region of the country and has more than 3 million people. The people earn less than $300 per year. According to the World Health Organization, the government spends $15 per person each year on health care, less than half of what is recommended to provide the most basic, but lifesaving care, like immunizations, malaria-fighting mosquito nets and hydration salts.
“We felt called to assist the diocese in building a hospital to meet the most basic humanitarian needs of the people in Mbujimayi,” said Mark Bauman.
The Baumans had learned that the mortality rate in the Congo is 57 percent higher than the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Particularly hard hit are young children, who are susceptible to diseases like malaria, measles, dysentery and typhoid. With the donor’s help the 235-bed hospital opened in 2008 culminating with a delivery of two Project C.U.R.E. containers of medical goods.
Foundation donors also made gifts to Project C.U.R.E. to provide medical supplies to four health care facilities in Lima, Peru. The Policlinico Sagrada Medical Center sees approximately 300 patients a day. The Mother and Child Center provides complete maternal care, counseling, pre-natal and delivery. A small facility that is used for physical rehabilitation and a facility that is home to 100 physically challenged and handicapped children ages 3 to 21. These facilities do their best while operating with marginal supplies, dated or non-functioning equipment, old and worn fixtures. The need was and continues to be great.
“The faithful of northern Colorado are very generous,” said Laber. “Not only did our donors direct financial assistance, but they also volunteered their time for a mission trip in support of the Church’s work in Lima, Peru.”
“The foundation is here to help northern Colorado Catholics live a life of service to others and fulfill the universal mission of the Church locally, regionally and internationally,” Laber said. “I welcome the opportunity to share with our Catholic community the many opportunities the foundation provides to help their families meet the needs of the Church and her people.”
The Catholic Foundation. Established: 1998
What: an independent nonprofit corporation that offers a wide variety of charitable planned giving opportunities that aim to help the faithful both meet their current and future financial goals and provide support for Catholic causes and charitable organizations.
Information: visit www.thecatholicfoundation.com ; call 303-468-9885; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org