Friday, September 02, 2005

How we can help

Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, and Catholic Community Services of the Diocese of Baton Rouge are working to assist the folks left homeless in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Here's some info on what they're doing and how you can help:

How Catholic Charities USA helps in disasters:
Our strength is in long-term recovery help. However in the emergency assistance phase of an operation we may provide assistance in the areas of disaster needs assessment, disaster clean-up, mass feeding, mass shelter, first aid, crisis counseling, pastoral care, child-care, home repair, and family casework.
In the long term we provide assistance in meeting those "unmet needs" that remain after the emergency is over. This may include additional rental assistance, food vouchers, cash vouchers, counseling, and job-training/placement, etc.
Financial contributions are often the best kind of donation to make and the only kind Catholic Charities USA accepts. Providing a financial contribution to a voluntary agency involved in disaster relief is often the most sensible and the most efficient way of helping the people in need after a disaster.
On relief operations: Our agencies and organizations will often spend the money in the local disaster area thus helping the local economy get back on its feet. Cash donations allow the client to participate in their healing by using the funds to buy what they need, rather than being handed stuff they may or may not need. Cash donations rather than unsolicited donated goods avoid the complicated, costly and time-consuming process of collecting, sorting, packing, transporting, unloading, resorting, storing, repackaging, and distributing the goods.
Cash donations help meet peoples' needs more precisely as Catholic Charities agencies are in a better position to purchase what the people need or can provide vouchers for people to purchase what they need.

Catholic Charities USA
Hurricane Relief Fund
PO Box 25168
Alexandria, VA 22313-9788

Catholic Community Services
P.O. Box 1668
Baton Rouge, LA 70821

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