"This has been an absolutely brutal spring storm season in the U.S. and now are hearts are saddened once again and our resources tested by this disaster in Joplin," said Kathleen King, senior vice president of External Relations for Catholic Charities USA. "From the earlier tornadoes in Alabama, to the recent flooding, to this downtown devastation in Missouri - the human need is huge and donations are essential."
Over the past month, CCUSA has been coordinating with Catholic Charities agencies to provide food, clothing and shelter for victims of the Alabama tornadoes, and most recently, for the flood-impacted areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The severity of the situations has created a huge need for financial donations to support the assistance efforts. Now, the disaster that has cut through the heart of Joplin further increases the need.
From the St. Louis Review:
Brian O’Malley, president of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, said May 23 that he extends “heartfelt prayers and concerns to those suffering the disastrous effects of last night’s tornado in Joplin. Catholic Charities is providing an efficient means by which donor support can reach those in need in the timeliest fashion possible.”
One hundred percent of the donations will go to those directly in need, he said.
The latest news reports put the number of confirmed dead at 117, but that number is expected to climb as search and rescue efforts continue in the wake of the single deadliest U.S. tornado in more than 50 years. More than 2,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed, among them St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Joplin, which was in the direct path of the tornado. Part of the Sisters of Mercy Health System, St. John's was able to to evacuate many patients before the tornado hit.
Mercy President and CEO Lynn Britton said in a message that the hospital is in the process of tracking patients who were evacuated and touching base with the 1,700 Mercy workers in Joplin.
“Our priorities, of course, begin first with people...As you have no doubt seen in news reports, our hospital suffered significant damage. The building has been completely evacuated and secured. Structural engineers are on their way to Joplin to evaluate the facility,” she said.
To aid the Joplin tornado relief effort, send a check payable to “Catholic Charities” (memo line: JOPLIN) to Catholic Charities, P.O. Box 952393, St. Louis, MO 63195-2393, or visit the Catholic Charities Disaster Relief site by clicking HERE.