WASHINGTON – In response to the destruction caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and earthquakes in Mexico, Catholics across the United States have contributed nearly $59 million to relief and recovery efforts. Initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), special collections and funds were launched last year to support humanitarian relief efforts as well as to provide pastoral services and financial support to rebuild facilities in dioceses impacted by these disasters.
“The devastation wrought by last year’s unprecedented disasters continues to impact the lives of our brothers and sisters in the United States, across the Caribbean, and in Mexico. We are profoundly grateful to the dioceses that took up special collections or made donations,” said Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi, chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections “The support of parishioners is an act of charity and a reflection of love for neighbor. We ask for continued prayers of support for the people affected by these historic natural disasters.”
As of mid-May 2018, US dioceses have remitted the following amounts for relief efforts:
Hurricane Harvey – $37.2 Million
Hurricane Irma – $12.8 Million
Hurricane Maria – $6.1 Million
Mexico Earthquakes – $3.5 Million
Humanitarian relief and recovery efforts are being provided by Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). CCUSA is receiving 50% of Hurricane Harvey funds and 30% of both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria funds; CRS is receiving 20% of Hurricane Irma funds. Initial funding from the special collections supported immediate needs such as food, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Long-term disaster recovery is currently underway. CCUSA recently distributed $13.5 million to nine Catholic Charities agencies in Texas and Louisiana where Hurricane Harvey affected countless people.
The Sullivan Family, Catholic Community Foundation and RPM International Inc. partner to donate $250,000 to aid victims of Hurricane Maria
A gift of $250,000 to aid Puerto Ricans who are suffering the ongoing effects of Hurricane Maria has been sent to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which is working closely with the six affected Puerto Rican dioceses, Catholic Charities USA, and other relief organizations. The gift was made by the individuals of the Sullivan family and through The Thomas C. and Sandra S. Sullivan Foundation, which has as its mission to aid the poor and needy. In addition RPM International Inc., a leading Northeast Ohio company that has been led by a Sullivan family member since its founding in 1947, joined in the philanthropic effort.