Posts Tagged ‘Hurricane Sandy victims’

Upstate Catholic Charities Agencies Are Reaching Out to Help Downstate Sandy Victims

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Upstate non-Catholics  and  Catholics alike came together to support those downstate affected by Superstorm Sandy.  Through special collections, fundraisers, school events, and generous individual contributions, the total amount raised by the Catholic Church and its ministries in the five upstate dioceses was $1,364,822.

“The response has been overwhelming,” said Bishop Howard Hubbard of the Albany Diocese and representing the five upstate bishops.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with those who are still recovering from this storm, and these donations will be put to work right away.  We want our fellow New Yorkers, and all affected by the storm, to know that we stand in solidarity with you during this period of recovery.”

Bishop Hubbard, along with his colleagues throughout all New York, issued a special collection for Sandy Relief shortly after the storm wreaked its havoc.  Schools, parishes and the community quickly pulled together vital supplies and arranged to bring them to the disaster zone. A large symbolic check representing the donations raised was presented to Catholic Charities representatives in the three downstate dioceses hardest hit by Sandy including the Archdiocese of New York, the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The response is especially noteworthy, considering that at a similar time the previous year gifts were coming into upstate New York to help with recovery efforts from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.  Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York is the overall managing agency administering outreach efforts to help people in 34 counties throughout New York State still recovering from these earlier storms.

In accepting the check from the upstate dioceses, Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, executive director of the Catholic Charities of the New York Archdiocese, said, “In every community of New York State, every day, Catholic Charities helps individuals and families to resolve problems and rebuild lives. When Sandy devastated so many communities in New York City and Long Island, Catholic Charities was present to be able to respond immediately to alleviate hardships and help hurting families. In the immediate aftermath and for the long-term, the range of Catholic Charities services are available to meet critical human needs.”

Sadness Tempered by Solidarity

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Sadness tempered by solidarity are sentiments Sherise Alleyne, Disaster Case Management Supervisor in Middletown, NY, says she senses most among Hurricane Sandy victims.  To bolster hurricane recovery efforts and team up with Catholic Charities Staten Island, she, along with dozens of fellow Catholic Charities NY staff and volunteers normally stationed north of Staten Island, make four-to-six-hour round trips from their offices to the flooded island.

“Shell shocked is an understatement,” she said describing disaster victims she has met at the Staten Island Disaster Recovery Center manned by staff from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Sunday.  “We’re working with people who suddenly have nothing; no home, no clothing, no food.”

A widow drenched in tears approached her recently.  The elderly woman, she said, just learned that the home she once shared with her husband who died five years ago — the same home he had grown up in and was filled with most of their memories – had been tagged “red” by inspectors, shorthand for beyond repair and scheduled for demolition.

Catholic Charities Staten Island has taken a leadership role partnering with first responders and nonprofit organizations to speed services and support to this widow and other residents devastated by the super storm. They provide everything from heaters, clothing and furniture vouchers, counseling, information and referral and volunteer help with removing water damaged sheet rock and insulation.

To make sure that displaced families can still celebrate the holiday season they also provide gifts and donated Kmart gift cards. Catholic Charities also created a volunteer framework so that residents can help residents, fostering the sense of community so crucial for the long recovery process.

“People need our help now more than ever,” Ms. Alleyne said after her most recent visit to Staten Island.  “They need to know the community is with them.”