Shore Season Begins, Sandy Recovery Continues: Diocese of Camden’s Catholic Charities’ Response by the Numbers

The unofficial summer season gets off to a chilly and breezy start this Memorial Day Weekend after the most challenging, tragic, and tumultuous six months in Jersey Shore history.

Since it became clear in late October that Hurricane Sandy was headed straight for New Jersey, the Diocese of Camden’s Catholic Charities has been tireless in its response to the storm. The work continues steadily today, shifting from relief to recovery.

Catholic Charities employees Brandon, left, and Mark during Sandy relief efforts.

Catholic Charities employees Brandon, left, and Mark during Sandy relief efforts.

Statistics provided by Camden’s Catholic Charities  are simultaneously sobering and inspiring. It’s heartbreaking to think of so many lives broken. But we are also so proud of the work of Catholic Charities in the face of tragedy. This is what the Church does. This is who we are.

Immediately after the storm, Catholic Charities set up two distribution centers near the shore.

  • 136,000 pounds of food and supplies were distributed
  • 15,000 individuals were assisted
  • 392 volunteers participated
Catholic Charities volunteers.

Catholic Charities volunteers.

As weeks passed, the response from diocesan parishes and dioceses all over the country was robust:

  • Almost $300,000 received in donations from diocesan parishes
  • More than $350,000 received from dioceses across the country
  • $225,000 spent in assistance
  • Over 150 families received financial support
  • More than 50 have received case management

The need for recovery work continues. While 31,000 FEMA applications for aid were submitted by residents of the diocese, Catholic Charities estimates 5000 people here will have unmet needs. The storm’s damage to the shore’s robust hospitality industry cost many people jobs — many of whom are undocumented immigrants. (Catholic Charities reports that New Jersey’s proportion of undocumented immigrants in the workforce ranks fifth in the nation.)

So as you prepare to head to the shore this weekend or in the coming months, take a minute to donate to the recovery efforts, and say a prayer for all victims of natural disasters:
Compassionate Lord, we pray for those who have been devastated by Hurricane Sandy and all natural disasters.
We remember those who have lost their lives so suddenly. We hold in our hearts the families forever changed by grief and loss. Bring them consolation and comfort. Surround them with our prayers for strength.
Bless those who have survived and heal their memories of trauma and devastation. May they have the courage to face the long road of rebuilding ahead.We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their security and their hope.
Bless the work of relief agencies and those providing emergency assistance. May their work be guided by the grace and strength that comes from You alone.Help us to respond with generosity in prayer, in assistance, in aid to the best of our abilities. Keep our hearts focused on the needs of those affected, even after the crisis is over. Amen–A prayer by Sr. Katherine Feely, SND via Education for Justice’s “Prayer Service in Times of Natural Disaster” (adapted)
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s