Catholic Churches Raise $370,000 for Disaster Relief in West Virginia, Kentucky | News, Sports, Jobs
WHEELING — Catholic parishes in West Virginia have raised $370,000 in a special weekend drive to support flood recovery in southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky.
The Right Reverend Mark Brennan, Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, said $369,557 was raised at Masses on Aug. 13 and 14 across West Virginia and another $695 was donated directly to Catholic Charities West. Virginia. This support goes directly to the humanitarian and recovery efforts of Catholic charities and partner agencies in both states, Brennan said.
“They showed the spirit of the words of Saint Paul: ‘Bear one another’s burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ’ (Galatians 6:2), the law being the commandment of the Lord: ‘Love ye each other as I love you. (John 15:12)”, he said,
Catholic Charities of West Virginia and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Lexington provide long-term recovery efforts, helping families long after other organizations have left.
The role of Catholic charities will last for months and years as they help families and individuals in the process of rebuilding to restore safe, secure and sanitary living conditions, Brennan said.
“Catholic Charities is grateful to the generous people of West Virginia who supported flood relief for our struggling families in West Virginia and our neighbors in Kentucky,” said Beth Zarate, president and CEO of Catholic Charities West Virginia.
“Families face immense emotional stress as they watch the water destroy their homes and cannot imagine their future. Immediately they lose food, medicine, memories,” she says. “It’s a long way back.”
The floods are overwhelming, Zarate said.
“Each house is an individual story and has its own history. We work to keep families stable, sometimes for years, as they literally put their lives back together,” she says. “At Catholic Charities, it is a privilege to be able to help others, it is a reality that only comes from the many people of West Virginia who are living their gospel call to love their neighbor.”
Along with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities West Virginia will work with more than 60 West Virginia families whose homes have sustained significant damage, Zarate said.
According to the state’s Emergency Management Division, between May 6 and August 15, 858 reports of flood damage were reported in eight counties in West Virginia, Cabell, Mingo, Fayette, McDowell, Wyoming , Jackson, Doddridge and Kanawha.