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Church responds to earthquake in Haiti

Catholic Relief Services providing humanitarian relief to Caribbean nation

From a press release on the Green Bay Diocese website:

The Catholic Church -- both locally and nationally -- is mobilizing its relief efforts for the people of Haiti following the massive earthquake on Jan. 12.

The Diocese of Green Bay has a mission parish in Elias Pina, which is on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. We received word this morning (Jan. 13) that everyone is fine in Elias Pina, including 30 people from Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh who are there on a two-week mission project.

Three Options to Donate for Humanitarian Aid
The U.S. Catholic Church will provide humanitarian aid through Catholic Relief Services, which on Jan. 13 committed an initial $5 million in aid for survivors. CRS assists people in more than 100 countries and territories based on need, regardless of race, nationality or creed. Locally, people can assist in one of three ways:

1. Participate in the special collection that will be conducted either this weekend or next weekend (to be determined later today) at parishes in the Diocese of Green Bay. All proceeds will be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services.

2. Mail donations to the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Green Bay, PO Box 23001, Green Bay, WI 54305-3001. All donations will forwarded to CRS. Checks can be made payable to Catholic Relief Services or the Catholic Foundation -- with the memo: Haiti Earthquake Relief.

3. Give online to Catholic Relief Services at https://secure.crs.org/site/Donation2?df_id=3181&3181.donation=form1.

CRS Responds to Earthquake
The following is an Emergency Bulletin from CRS:

Situation: A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has ravaged the island nation of Haiti. The quake occurred 10 miles southwest of the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince just before 5 p.m. EST (Haiti is also on EST). Port-au-Prince, with a population of over 2 million, has been devastated. CRS Country Representative Karel Zelenka reports that "Port-au-Prince was covered with a plume of dust from damaged buildings. We should be prepared for many thousands of dead and injured."

The CRS offices were shaken, with some damage to the compound walls, but there were no injuries in the building. Two CRS staff members remain unaccounted for. Communication with Haiti remains very difficult.There are also recently confirmed reports that the Archbishop of Port-au-Prince, Msgr. Joseph Serge Miot, was a victim of the quake. The Cathedral of Notre Dame in Port-au-Prince has sustained severe damage.

CRS Response: CRS has made an initial commitment of $5 million for immediate use in the relief effort. Our agency is geared up for a major emergency response to this severe disaster. CRS is mobilizing food and gearing up our emergency capacity, and deploying prepositioned emergency shelter and hygiene kits in Haiti, as well as bringing in supplies from the neighboring Dominican Republic.From the Field: Karel Zelenka, CRS Country Representative in Haiti: "I’ve been in earthquakes before. This was a major hit. And it was direct. Thousands must be dead."

CRS in the News -- From the Washington Post:"People are out in the streets, crying, screaming, shouting," Karel Zelenka, director of the Catholic Relief Services office in Haiti, said Tuesday night. "They see the extent of the damage," he said, but could do little to rescue people trapped under rubble because night had fallen."There are a lot of collapsed buildings," Zelenka said in a telephone interview from Port-au-Prince. "This will be a major, major disaster."He reported that poorly constructed shantytowns and other buildings had crumbled in huge clouds of dust. Near the CRS headquarters, a supermarket was "completely razed," he said, and a gasoline station and a church were reduced to rubble.

For more information go to http://crs-blog.org/earthquake-hits-haiti/ and http://www.crsespanol.org/

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