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Catholic Charities USA Moves Disaster Response Team to American Samoa

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

SOURCE Catholic Charities USA
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