Human Need Similar to Katrina and Haiti, but Response Not Forthcoming to Date
ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catholic Charities USA, among the largest human services and disaster response organizations in the country, reported today that it is not seeing nationwide donations for the Gulf Coast oil spill and the Nashville floods at anywhere near the levels of Katrina, Haiti, American Samoa and numerous other natural disasters.
"While our local Catholic Charities' agencies in New Orleans and Nashville are fully engaged and receiving strong local and institutional support (Catholic Charities of New Orleans received $1 million from British Petroleum), we are not seeing the generosity of individual Americans across-the-board," said Rev. Larry Snyder, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA. "Frankly, Nashville's flood devastation has been somewhat overshadowed by the oil spill, and the entire Gulf Coast situation has been more of a business story and technology remediation story than anything that truly portrays the human impact. The good hearts of our country have not been touched in a way to feel a need to contribute."
Catholic Charities USA, the national office for the 170 different Catholic Charities agencies around the country and perhaps the most experienced and responsible disaster relief organization following its well-known Katrina work, normally receives donations directly which in turn are passed along to the agencies and areas in need. To date, it has only received two gifts totaling $520.00 for Gulf oil spill assistance and relief, and minimal donations designated to help Nashville.
"This is unusual—and in the oil spill case, it's a much bigger problem than just New Orleans. That's why we feel it's important to let the public know that just because there are not as many immediate scenes of human physical suffering doesn't mean there is any less need," Fr. Snyder continued. "Economic impact is felt one human being at a time and overall the impact of these disasters could reach greater proportions than others."
Donations can be made to 1-800-919-9338 and at http://www.catholiccharitiesusa.org and are critical at this time. Contributors, as witnessed with Katrina, know they can count on Catholic Charities to be fiscally responsible and to do the work and perform the services for which the gifts are intended.
Catholic Charities USA's members—more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities agencies and institutions nationwide—provide help and create hope for nearly 9 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities, ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010, Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary.
SOURCE Catholic Charities USA