Special collections go to meet most urgent needs
by Kara Hansen
Special to The Leaven
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The effects of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan have left many Japanese with nothing.
But a special collection to be taken up in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas the weekend of March 26-27 will go toward meeting the most urgent needs that a natural disaster creates, even in a First World country — the need for food, shelter, and clean water.
All funds raised will go to Catholic Relief Services (CRS), which is working with Caritas International to assist recovery efforts in Japan.
CRS is the charitable arm of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and has responded to other humanitarian emergencies in the past on behalf of American Catholics, such as the earthquake in Haiti in 2010. Caritas is a global network that provides assistance to the most vulnerable on behalf of Catholics around the world.
Many will remember parishes across the archdiocese taking up a similar collection for Haitians last year. According to CRS, those funds were used to address primary needs such as food, food storage, water, sanitation, and shelter for the people of Haiti.
Of the $127 million CRS received for Haiti from the United States, more than $50 million was received from special collections. The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas alone raised $613,668.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann is hoping for another strong response from Catholics to help the Japanese.
“CRS funds directed to Japan will be used for the immediate humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable and will support the local Catholic Church in its ongoing mission,” wrote the archbishop in a March 15 letter to parish priests requesting this special collection.
For those who might have missed the opportunity to donate at their local parishes, donations can also be made online at: www.archkck.org.