Educational advocacy groups each get $10,000 from annual November Needs collection

By Staff     9/18/2015

GARDEN GROVE — Two nonprofit service organizations that work with low-income people in Orange County each recently received $10,000 annual local grants through the Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD).

The grants, which were presented at a Sept. 1 ceremony on the campus of Christ Cathedral, were funded in part by donations from parishioners throughout the Diocese of Orange through the annual November Needs collection.

The recipients are:

CREER Communidad Y Familia—A grassroots community organization founded in San Juan Capistrano in 2004, CREER’s mission is to develop children, youth and families through education, cultural arts, sports and civic leadership programs. It currently serves more than 600 families in South Orange County, all of whom are low-income (95 percent live beneath the poverty level). The group works with the Capistrano Unified School District, which offers the use of classrooms and 80 volunteers.

Justice in Education (JIE)—(Children with Disabilities: Advanced Advocate Training)—Operating out of Santa Ana, this organization was established in 2005 to help low-income, ethnically diverse families with disabled children in Orange County public school districts. Supported by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County and Catholic Charities, JIE has assisted more than 300 families. It also has worked with many school psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, autism specialists and other educational professionals and parents to be trained to represent themselves in the special education process.

The CCHD was established in 1970 by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to fund programs used for the mitigation of poverty, the betterment of social and economic conditions and the easing of racial and ethnic tensions. Grants are divided between two main areas: community organizing and economic development. Although the campaign is based on the Catholic Church’s moral and social teaching traditions, it is not required that nonprofit organizations receiving grants be Catholic.

A total of 25 percent of all funds donated to the campaign are returned for local distribution. The remaining 75 percent is disbursed by the national CCHD office.