Religious institutions provide relief

The New Orleans community encourages donations toward victims of the typhoon


Churches and temples in New Orleans are getting the community involved with Typhoon Haiyan relief by partnering with charity organizations that can provide appropriate aid.

The Typhoon Haiyan is being called “the most devastating storm to have ever hit landfall” by news organizations such as the New York Times and CNN International. According to the Associated Press, the approximately 9 million people estimated to have been affected need immediate aid.

Archbishop Gregory Aymond has announced that he is accepting direct donations, which the archdiocese will use to provide aid to the Philippines.

Sara McDonald, director of communications at the Archdiocese of New Orleans, said that the funds are sent to bishops in the Philippines for relief services that “intend to help the bishops rebuild the lives of the Typhoon victims.”

“New Orleans knows how important relief funds and aid are, and so we encourage people to give what they can,” McDonald said. “We also know how important it is to keep the people of the Philippines in our prayers”

The archdiocese is also encouraging donations to Catholic Relief Services.

From Sunday, Nov. 11, through the following Sunday, Nov. 17, the St. Ignatius Chapel accepted donations towards typhoon relief during its daily mass. Kurt Bindewald, director of university ministry, said that he believes money is the best form of relief at the moment for the typhoon victims.

“After Hurricane Katrina we realized that money donations is the best way to ensure that the aid gets to where it is needed most,” Bindewald said. “The Ignatius chapel is only accepting money donations at this time, let us say that we had shirts instead, we cannot possibly track where the aid end up and to who it goes to. We need to make sure the disaster victims get that immediate aid.”

Bindewald said that the donations are given to Catholic Relief Services and to the Jesuit Refugee Service, after working with both organization with past disaster relief efforts.

While collections for the typhoon were only held during last week’s Mass, the University Ministry is still collecting donations in their office.

Temple Sinai, a Jewish congregation located next to Loyola on St. Charles Avenue, in partnership with the Union for Reform Judaism, has also made efforts to open the community to Typhoon Haiyan relief.

The temple encourages donations to the Union for Reform Judaism General Disaster Relief Fund. The Fund is “collecting donations that will be distributed to aid groups working in affected areas,” according to the Union for Reform Judaism website.

The St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church is holding a special offering dedicated to the Typhoon Haiyan victims during the worship on Sunday, Nov. 24.

Associate pastor of the St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church the Rev. Kelly Hostetler said that they partnered with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance during Hurricane Katrina, and so they have decided to partner with them again to provide aid for the typhoon victims.

The St. Genevieve Parish in Slidell, La., is accepting material donations such as clothing that will then be sent directly to family members and villages in close connection to the Filipino community in Slidell, said St. Genevive. They also said that the prominent population of Filipinos in the surrounding area created a high demand for more expansive relief, aside from financial donations.

The Loyola University Honors Program raised more than $1,250 with its Typhoon Haiyan relief fundraiser on Thursday, Nov. 14, according to a Loyola press release.

The funds raised will go to the Red Cross and the Philippine Jesuit Foundation, the official U.S. fundraising organization for Jesuits and Jesuit works in the Philippines. Both organizations are aiding those affected by the disaster through official typhoon relief funds.

Jessica DeBold can be contacted at [email protected]