Society of St. Vincent de Paul to Provide Hands-on Disaster Relief for Oklahoma Tornado Victims
MOORE, Okla., May 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVdP), one of the largest charitable organizations in the nation, is on the ground in Oklahoma to help provide relief to the victims of Monday's tornadoes. To help individuals and families hit by the storms, the Society is accepting contributions to its Domestic Disaster Relief Fund: https://www.svdpusa.net/transact/transaction-donationsform13.php?transactionid=18
The Society is coordinating efforts with its Archdiocesan Council of Oklahoma, as well as SVdP's conference (chapter) and the Catholic Church in Moore.
SVdP's response to this disaster follows on the heels of its work with victims of the explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on April 17. The organization's experience in disaster relief includes work with victims of Hurricane Sandy; tornadoes, floods and wildfires in Texas and Oklahoma; and assistance to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Society's approach to disaster relief and recovery was recognized by the National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), which named the Society of St. Vincent de Paul its "2012 Member of the Year." The recognition was based on SVdP's demonstrated commitment to VOAD's four principles: cooperation, communications, coordination and collaboration. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Texas Department of Emergency Management nominated the Society for the award.
Coordinating the Society's efforts in Oklahoma is Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, national associate executive director for SVdP's south central region, which encompasses Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
"Initially, we will do an assessment of the situation in Oklahoma," she said, "and provide vouchers for basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter. Then, we'll move on to case management to evaluate each person's additional needs, including helping victims to process the paperwork required by agencies such as the IRS, the Small Business Administration and FEMA. At the same time, however, we'll provide emotional support, which is as critical to people in a situation like this as material and monetary help."
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of more than 700,000 men and women throughout the world who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 149 countries on five continents. With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals more than 141,000 in 4,300 communities. Programs include home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, job training and placement, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, transportation and utility costs, care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly, and medical care. Last year, SVdP made more than 1.5 million visits (homes, hospitals and prisons), served almost 10 million people, and provided more than $660 million in tangible and in-kind services.
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Charles B. Henderson
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SOURCE Society of St. Vincent de Paul