fbpx Disaster Relief | Catholic Charities NWO

"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit." Psalms 34:18

Disaster Relief

Catholic Charities provides outreach to communities in the Diocese of Toledo after natural disasters such as flooding or tornadoes. Catholic Charities coordinates volunteer support personnel, provides case management, solicits donations, assists with long-term recovery, and strives to reflect God’s mercy to the community at large. Regardless of race, religion, or socio-economic status, Catholic Charities is there to help. For more information, please contact Catholic Charities Regional Director Rebecca Owens, 419-524-0733, ext. 225 or rowens@toledodiocese.org.

Catholic Charities also facilitates local collections in times of major natural disasters in other areas of the country and the world. These funds are distributed to local Catholic Charities agencies directly providing disaster response. No administrative fees are taken out by Catholic Charities Diocese of Toledo.


A series of deadly summer storms in 2016 wreaked havoc in southern West Virginia, in late June, and in southern Louisiana, in mid-August. Then Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 Hurricane, hit Haiti head-on, barreling through Cuba and Jamaica, before climbing the U.S. Eastern seaboard in October.

Thousands perished. Tens of thousands homes were destroyed in Haiti alone. Upwards of half a million left homeless from the devastating flash flooding in West Virginia, Louisiana, and North Carolina and the destruction Hurricane Matthew wrought in the Caribbean.

Within days of each natural disaster, USCCB President Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville called for emergency collections to support humanitarian efforts and to provide pastoral and rebuilding support to impacted areas.

With Bishop Daniel E. Thomas’ encouragement and support, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Toledo made appeals on Facebook and through the media and Diocesan parishes, on behalf of Catholic Charities agencies and Catholic Relief Services (CRS).

“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and generosity,” says Rodney Schuster, Executive Director, noting online donations and checks began pouring in immediately to support humanitarian and disaster relief efforts.

Your Response Has Been Tremendous

To date, Catholic Charities has processed $186,709 from the Diocese of Toledo’s special collections for disaster relief. All of these funds, dollar for dollar, have been directed to Catholic Charities agencies and Catholic Relief Services.

“The donations, from people across Northwest and West Central Ohio, are making a great impact in helping those whose lives have been disrupted in this country and many others,” Schuster adds. “We continue to keep our brothers and sisters devastated by these storms in our prayers as they continue to rebuild and reestablish their lives.”

Donations are first used for emergency assistance, helping to meet individuals and families immediate needs: providing food, water, temporary shelter, clothing, medicine and medical care, hygiene and cleaning kits, crisis counseling and transportation. Long-term recovery efforts include case management, home damage assessments, housing repair and home rebuilding in all of the affected areas.

Special Collection      # Donors      Committed

Hurricane Matthew             153            $61,903

Louisiana Flood                  440           $98,427

CRS Haiti Relief                   76            $19,911

West Virginia Flood              48             $6,468

TOTAL                                               $186,709


Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio