Throughout the country, Catholic Charities agencies anticipate and respond to the elevated risks and challenges of vulnerable populations impacted by disasters. We are supported by Catholic Charities USA which provides training in disaster preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation. Our common goal is to help people through both the immediate and the long-term process of recovery and restoration.
Over the last 10 years, the Catholic Charities ministry has helped more than 6.5 million people affected by all kinds of disasters: floods, hurricanes, mudslides, tornadoes, ice storms, droughts, wildfires, explosions, violence, and environmental damage. In 2015, thanks to the generosity of its supporters, CCUSA provided grants to support disaster relief and recovery efforts in 24 states. 138,290 individuals were served by Catholic Charities disaster operations efforts in the following key areas: daily living needs, health care and home repair.
Nationally, Catholic Charities USA continues to collect donations to assist with recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida. In both cases, 100% of these funds go directly to the local Catholic Charities agencies where they are distributed as quickly as possible to those in need.
Locally, Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas continues to help with recovery efforts after three local disasters disrupted lives.
The wildfires that burned through Kansas in early March were the largest in the state’s history, with more than 651,000 acres destroyed in total. Families lost their homes, livestock, and livelihood. Today, Catholic Charities continues to work with families in Clark County, Ford County and Ness County. An additional staff member will assist with the ongoing needs assessment and case management.
On May 16th, storms developed over western Kansas and Oklahoma Panhandle. This storm rapidly intensified as it approached southwest Barton County producing a tornado that struck Pawnee Rock and eventually produced EF3 damage west and northwest of the Great Bend Airport. This storm continued to the northeast producing additional damage before lifting northwest of Hoisington. Several Great Bend agencies began meeting to coordinate donations and assessment. United Way of Central Kansas and Golden Belt Community Foundation coordinated donation efforts, and Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas began meeting with those who were effected to assess their needs, distribute assistance, and provide on-going case management.
In early August, storms passed through Seward County Kansas causing many areas to flood. Families, some without insurance, have suffered significant damage to their homes and businesses. Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas will begin meeting with about 80 families in the Liberal area to help with disaster recovery.
In each case, whether local or national, 100% of the funds collected through Catholic Charities for disaster relief go straight to the local agencies, and subsequently to those affected by disaster.
You can also mail a check to assist with national or local disasters to: Catholic Charities of Southwest Kansas, 906 Central Ave, Dodge City KS 67801. Be sure to indicate where you would like your donation to go, and we'll make sure it goes to the right place.
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