By Catholic News Service
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Here's how to help survivors of Hurricane Ian:
-- Donations for humanitarian and church needs can be made to a special collection for the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund (if taken in your diocese). Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, encouraged the special collection in early October. #iGiveCatholicTogether also accepts donations for the Bishops Emergency Disaster Fund. All donations received (100%) will go to relief, recovery and rebuilding needs.
-- Catholic Charities USA, the official domestic relief agency of the U.S. Catholic Church, is collecting financial donations (which are preferred) at https://ccusa.online/Ian, with 100% of the monies raised going to support people impacted by the hurricane and served by their local Catholic Charities agencies. Donations help cover shelter, food and other humanitarian needs.
-- Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Miami also has set up a donation page to accept financial donations: www.ccadm.org. As with donations to CCUSA, 100% of donations to the Miami agency will be used for Hurricane Ian relief efforts.
-- Groups that want to take a collection of goods and transport them over to Florida's west coast should first contact Peter Routsis-Arroyo, Miami Catholic Charities CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hurricane Ian caused damage estimated at $67 billion from Florida to the Carolinas, with Florida's west coast taking the brunt of the storm.
Ian made landfall Sept. 28 at Cayo Costa in southwestern Florida as a powerful Category 4 storm with wind speeds of nearly 155 mph.
After crossing over the Florida peninsula, where it had weakened to a tropical storm, Ian strengthened again over the Atlantic Ocean to become a Category 1 hurricane before made a second landfall near Georgetown, South Carolina, Sept. 30.
"While the scale of Hurricane Ian's impact on our neighbors in Florida and the southeast U.S. will continue to be realized over the next few hours and days, CCUSA is committed to the region for as long as it takes to recover," Dominican Sister Donna Markham, president and CEO of CCUSA, said in a statement issued shortly after Ian made landfall.
"Catholic Charities staff and volunteers are standing by and ready to respond to the most pressing humanitarian needs as they evolve," she said.