Catholic Charities USA Moves Disaster Response Team to American Samoa

Wed Oct 7, 2009 9:48am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Catholic Charities USA
(CCUSA) announced today that it is deploying a disaster assessment and
response team to American Samoa to assist its Catholic Social Services agency
in Pago Pago and coordinate with FEMA and other agencies in providing relief
and support services to the growing number of victims of the earthquake and
tsunami devastation.


"The preliminary reports and assessments that we have seen to date indicate a
huge need for help with basic human services and provisions," said Rev. Larry
Snyder, President and CEO of Catholic Charities USA.  "Members of our Disaster
Response Operations team are heading there to further determine the full scope
of the need and to help in any way we can."

At the present time, various Diocese and Catholic Social Services building
facilities are providing shelter for both victims and relief workers. 
Catholic Charities USA has sent an immediate $10,000 grant to the Diocese of
Samoa-Pago Pago.  The Catholic Charities USA Disaster Response Operations team
will arrive on the ground Thursday (10/8). The initial team consists of
members from CCUSA headquarters and from Catholic Charities agencies in New
Orleans and Baton Rouge. Catholic Charities of Hawaii is prepared to provide
additional disaster relief workers should the need exist.

"These team members have extensive disaster response experience from their
work with Katrina, Gustav, Ike and the Iowa floods," added Fr. Snyder.  "This
is another example of our Catholic Charities network coming together to help
hard hit areas."

Catholic Charities USA has begun the 2009 Tsunami Fund, with a message of
"Your Help Is Needed Now!", to accept donations on its Web

Catholic Charities USA's members--more than 1,700 local Catholic Charities
agencies and institutions nationwide--provide help and create hope for nearly
8.5 million people a year regardless of religious, social, or economic
backgrounds. For almost 300 years, Catholic Charities agencies have worked to
reduce poverty by providing a myriad of vital services in their communities,
ranging from health care and job training to food and housing. In 2010,
Catholic Charities USA celebrates its centennial anniversary. 

SOURCE  Catholic Charities USA

Roger Conner, Sr. Director of Communications of Catholic Charities,
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