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Red Cross Recognizes Tornado Assistance by Catholic Charities

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Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh has received special recognition by the Triangle Area Chapter of the Red Cross for the assistance it provided to survivors of the April 16, 2011, tornado that impacted several neighborhoods in Raleigh. The award was presented to Raleigh Regional Director Rick Miller-Haraway by Mr. Daniel Ng, Emergency Services Director of the Red Cross.

During the two weeks immediately following the tornado, Catholic Charities sent staff and student interns to Red Cross shelters to help survivors cope with the loss of their homes and possessions. Catholic Charities also worked closely with Wake County Human Services in helping residents find new housing.

One of the major problems survivors face after a natural disaster is trauma. The Catholic agency provided counseling services to residents of the shelters as they struggled with the realization of the loss of their homes and possessions. It provided first month’s rent to several families who lacked financial support, found furniture for those who moved into new homes or apartments, and assisted others with replacement of medicines and repair of eye glasses.

Another important service provided by Catholic Charities was providing translators for non-English speaking survivors who could answer their questions and assist in filling out paperwork for FEMA and insurance companies.

Catholic Charities continues to work closely with the Red Cross and other members of the Wake Interfaith Disaster Team in providing long-term disaster relief for people who do not have sufficient government or insurance resources to complete the repairs needed to make their homes safe and livable. 

With the help of the Salvation Army, the United Methodist Conference and Centro Internacional de Raleigh, the Diocesan regional office is coordinating the case management of 150 people and working directly with 50 families to help them secure the resources they need to complete their recovery.