In response to Hurricane Sandy’s devastating impact on the northeastern part of the country, the Archdiocese of Washington and its parishes have undertaken efforts to help our neighbors in need.
At St. Andrew Apostle Catholic Church in Silver Spring, the parish has been accepting clothes, cleaning supplies, toiletries, towels, blankets, grocery gift cards and monetary donations. Isabel Gorres, a parishioner at St. Andrew Apostle and a volunteer working to collect donations said, “Seeing the parish come together to help those in need is seeing the Holy Spirit in action. People are moved to give of themselves even on a spiritual level.”
Additionally, parishioners at St. Andrew Apostle have donated funds to help purchase about $8,000 worth of canned foods and fresh fruit. Another donation secured the purchase of $1,000 worth of undergarments.
Students from the St. Andrew Apostle School are donating baby wipes, diapers, clothing and canned goods. All donations will be accepted through Thursday, November 8, 2012. On Friday morning, students will help to fill a truck that will head to New Jersey to St. Benedict Catholic Church in Holmdel. The parish has become a donation hub for those affected by the storm. Volunteers will help to distribute the donated goods and also prepare food for 2,000 people.
At Jesus the Divine Word Catholic Church in Huntingtown, the parish has been collecting baby food, diapers, clothing, blankets and other items. “This collection has become a beautiful thing; we have a very spiritual connection with our friends in New Jersey,” said Laura Warlitner, parishioner and office administrator at Jesus the Divine Word parish. The items will be packed up on Sunday, November 11, 2012 and sent on Monday, November 12, 2012 to St. Benedict Catholic Church in Holmdel, New Jersey. A small group of volunteers will travel to the parish to help to distribute the items to those in need, and to also assess how they can continue to support the Diocese of Trenton in the future.
Confirmation students at St. Mary’s of Piscataway Catholic Church in Clinton are donating water, flashlights, batteries, diapers, wipes, and canned goods to victims of Hurricane Sandy. On the evening of Thursday, November 8, 2012, donations will be collected in the parish hall. The Mercy House in Virginia will gather the donations and transport them for distribution in the New York and New Jersey areas.
At Our Lady of Victory School in northwest Washington, a 72-foot truck and driver from the American Trucking Association have been secured to deliver donations to two shelters in New York. Donations will be taken from the school at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, November 7. The goal is to fill the truck before it departs at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 7, 2012 from McLean. Students and families have been encouraged to donate warm clothes, children’s coats, toys, books and toiletries.
Students at St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville have been bringing in their own money to send to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief. School principal Mary Pat Donoghue asked students specifically to bring in their own money that they had earned from chores or that they have been given so the students could feel personally connected to the aid effort. “One student even brought in his birthday money,” Ms. Donoghue said. The collection began on Tuesday, November 1, 2012 and the school plans to send the money collected to the Red Cross by Friday, November 9, 2012.
Across the archdiocese, a second collection will be taken up in our parishes to assist those most affected by the storm. The Archdiocese of Washington is also making a donation of $100,000 to Catholic Relief Services and $100,000 to Catholic Charities USA to support their disaster relief efforts in the northeast.
During this challenging time and in response to the needs of all affected by this storm, parishes will include the victims of the storm in the prayers of the faithful.
The Archdiocese of Washington is home to over 600,000 Catholics living in Washington, DC and five Maryland Counties: Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s and St. Mary’s.