Officials in the Catholic diocese that covers Des Moines and southwest Iowa are launching a campaign to spread the word that Catholic Charities services aren’t just for Catholics. Ann Marie Cox, director of communications for the Des Moines Diocese, says demand for charity has increased as the economy worsened. Cox says Catholic Charities is nearly 80 years old and has a long history as a social services agency. Cox says Catholic Charities provides not only food for the hungry and shelter for the homeless but support for victims of domestic abuse and adoption services. Cox says the diocese has done some research recently and found many Catholics do not know Catholic Charities serves non-Catholics, too. Cox says one reason Catholic Charities isn’t well known is because different dioceses across the country focus on different priorities. The Des Moines Diocese is launching a “Bare Essentials” campaign next week to collect things like toilet paper, shampoo, diapers and canned goods for needy Iowans. Donations can be dropped off at Catholic Charities offices in Des Moines and Council Bluffs.
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