With the holidays coming soon, odds are you’re already starting to receive physical letters and emails, asking for donations from a variety of different organizations and religious orders. It’s no wonder that many people check Forbes list of the top 100 largest U.S. charities to make sure they’re donating to a legitimate organization.
With the Catholic Church’s longstanding history of almsgiving, it will come to no surprise that four Catholic organizations made the list! So, which are the four organizations that made the list?
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude’s, the top Catholic charity in the U.S., comes in at #5 again this year, up one spot from 2016. This organization, founded in 1962, is, as its name suggests, a hospital and research facility that focuses on a variety of diseases (such as a wide range of cancers) for the pediatric population. Last year its total revenue was $1.98 billion dollars.
Catholic Charities USA
Catholic Charities USA made the list at #11. CCUSA “provides service to people in need, pushes for justice in social structures, and calls upon the entire church and other people of good will to do the same.” The total revenue was $3.7 billion dollars as of December 13, 2017.
Catholic Medical Mission Board
At #34 is the Catholic Medical Mission Board. The organization was founded by a New York City doctor in 1912. This organization is known to provide health care services to people around the world, regardless of religious affiliation. Their total revenue in 2016—the most recent report—was $368 million dollars.
Catholic Relief Services
Coming in at #38 on Forbes’ list is Catholic Relief Services. This organization was founded in 1943 by U.S. Catholic bishops and has since become an international organization known to help the poor and needy not only in the U.S. but also overseas. Its total revenue was $922 million in September 2016.
Of course, there are several other great Catholic charities that didn’t make the list but which do provide a lot of fantastic services to those most in need. Just because an organization didn’t make the list doesn’t mean they’re not legitimate nor that they don’t do what they claim.
There is a word of warning that everyone should keep in mind. In recent years, there have been several reports that some Catholic charities have not honored the Church’s teachings on topics such as contraceptives and will distribute birth control with the money they raise through their charity drives. If you really want to donate, it’s always best to do your research so that you can donate with a clean conscience.
Whether you donate to any of the organizations on the list, to one not on the list, or simply to your local parish, don’t forget to set aside some almsgiving into next month’s budget. Not only will you help others in need, but you’ll also be doing a corporal work of mercy and that is priceless.