'Francis Effect' Brings 33% Increase to Caritas Argentina Collection

Buenos Aires, (Zenit.org) | 868 hits

Caritas Argentina reported that the result of its annual collection was up by a third as compared to last year, an increase in donations that organizers attributed to the "Francis effect."

During the collection, held in June, Caritas Argentina received about 4 million euro ($5.3 million), an increase of 33% compared to the 2012 collection. 

AICA News Agency reported that the Church in Argentina said it confirmed society's "heart of solidarity."

The total received will be allocated to programs and initiatives of human development that Caritas will carry out throughout the country during the coming year. Among the initiatives is the work accomplished in 1,130 informal education centers, supporting schools, scholarships, and literacy programs for adults. Last year 28,100 people benefited from these grants. 

The sum collected will also be used for housing. From 2011 to the present, 1,166 families now own new homes. The food service will also be continued in 1,000 soup kitchens and parishes, and support will be given to 600 health centers, as well as immediate help to 2,700 contingency centers, the legal advice service, the citizens formation service, and the work of more than 1,000 centers that support vulnerable groups. In addition, support will be given to 350 homes and shelters for single mothers, children, the elderly, and training for micro-credit undertakings. 

Caritas Argentina reported that in 2012, almost two dozen projects were carried out in 13 dioceses, which benefitted more than 3,000 people. Added to all the above activities are tasks of prevention and aid for emergencies. This year Caritas responded to the emergency in the city of La Plata and surrounding areas. Through 24 centers it helped 10,000 families directly and collaborated in the care of 80,000 people. Caritas is still supporting many people in the disaster area.

Caritas is aided by the service of 32,000 volunteers.