Parish sites serve as storm relief distribution sites


notredamehurricanereliefphoto-webLeft: Adults and children sort through donated merchandise at Notre Dame de la Mer Parish, Wildwood, on Nov. 3. Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Camden opened two disaster relief sites at Notre Dame and St. Gianna Beretta Molla Parish, Northfield, to benefit the affected residents in Cape May and Atlantic counties. These distribution centers will serve as coordination and dispersal sites for relief supplies. In partnership with Catholic Charities USA and other national relief organizations, victims of the hurricane can receive basic supplies including clean-up kits, non-perishable food items, clothing and toiletries. The relief sites will operate seven days per week until they are no longer needed, according to Catholic Charities Executive Director Kevin Hickey.

Photo by Alan M. Dumoff, more photos

When Catholic Charities set up a storm relief distribution center at St. Gianna Beretta Molla Catholic Church in Northfield, Michelle Veith went there for help — and to volunteer to assist others impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

“I need help and they need help,” she said, “and the only way you can really make a difference is to help others. My grandmother and the Catholic Church taught me to do onto others as you want done onto yourself.”

Flood damage destroyed most of Michelle Veith’s belongings in her mother’s Ventnor City home.

Veith’s offer of help was welcome news to Mark Taylor, director of veterans services for Catholic Charities of the Camden Diocese, who is one of the coordinators for relief efforts in the region.

Camden’s Catholic Charities agency has welcomed partners at the distribution centers it has set up, such as the American Red Cross, to serve hot meals, give out clothes, nonperishable food and bottled water.

“We have a lot of resources we can offer, but with the magnitude of what’s happened here, nobody can do it alone,” he said.

“We try to partner with as many community organizations, religious organizations, anybody who wants to give back,” he said. “We appreciate all of the help people have given us in this effort.”

Catholic Charities also has set up a distribution site at Notre Dame de la Mer Parish, Wildwood.