SAGINAW - Generous members of the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw have contributed more than $300,000 to support Catholic Relief Services efforts in Haiti, according to Terri Grierson, director for the Office of Christian Service.
“The response from our parishes and other local organizations has been overwhelming,” Grierson said. “I am continuously amazed by the generosity of the faithful people of our Diocese. It is humbling to know that there are so many people here, who, despite their own economic problems, are willing to give of themselves for their brothers and sisters in Haiti.”
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake leveled the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince in January. Haiti is considered to be the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.
The Haitian government reports more than 200,000 people were killed in the earthquake, 300,000 were treated for injuries, and 250,000 homes were destroyed.
In Port-au-Prince, approximately 20 million cubic yards of rubble need to be removed. Seven organized settlements have been established for 42,000 homeless people; around 460,000 people remain in 315 makeshift camps. Despite this, the resilience of the Haitian people is heard in a popular saying on the streets and in the camps, “Nou bite men nou pap tonbe: We may stumble, but we will not fall.”
By working with Caritas Haiti, the Church’s charitable agency there, CRS has focused on the distribution of food and emergency shelter kits, and on coordination with partners on water, sanitation, health and security issues. CRS is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. Grierson said local donations continue to come into the diocesan offices to be forwarded to CRS.
For more information on the CRS relief efforts, prayer and educational resources, and information on how you can help with the long-term rebuilding process, go online to www.crs.org or call 1-877-HELP-CRS.