Most Americans rarely think about what they can do to end poverty. But for Father Larry Snyder, president of Catholic Charities U.S.A., answering that question is a priority because of his commitment to the most vulnerable.

Since launching tghe Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America, Father Snyder has focused on a special goal: to cut poverty in this country in half by 2020. He is supported in this multi-year initiative by more than 1,600 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide that provide help and create hope for nearly eight million people a year, regardless of their religious, social or economic backgrounds.

As the featured speaker at the Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown Third Annual Gala on March 21, Father Snyder will challenge the local faith community to support the anti-poverty campaign. In his words, "We must never lose sight of the fact that in one of the world's wealthiest nations, 36.5 million people, including 12.8 million people, are living in poverty."

How can we make an impact on such a vast problem? Our challenge is to break the cycle of poverty by making a difference one neighbor at a time.

Locally, the staff and supporters of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown, are making a big difference every day. The mission of Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown, is to provide compassionate human services with respect for the sanctity of all human life. The organization's services - which reached nearly 25,000 people last year - include adoption, foster care and behavioral health, pregnancy support, services for older adults, refugee and immigration services, and operating the Ecmenical kitchen.

The Catholic Charities, Diocese of Allentown Third Annual Gala will be held on Sunday, March 21, at the Holiday Inn Conference Center, Fogelsville, It is open to the public. Reservations can be made by calling (610) 791-3888, extensions 310 or 312.