News: Contributions to Special Funds Ease Financial Stress

December 17, 2020

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Thanks to the generosity of people in southwest Iowa, the Diocese of Des Moines and Catholic Charities raised more than $132,000 to put back into its communities to help those suffering from the devastating derecho storm last summer and COVID-19.

“The Diocese of Des Moines, in partnership with Catholic Charities, continues to offer anull Catholic response to the crises that have faced Iowans in 2020. When we act as one body in Christ, we recognize that we all suffer when one of our brothers or sisters is suffering,” said Maureen Kenney, diocesan Director of Stewardship. “The way in which our faith community has responded to those in need is the evidence of Christ’s light shining through the darkness.”

 On Aug. 10, a straight-line windstorm swept through Iowa damaging property of thousands of individuals and families. A special collection to raise funds for the benefit of those who suffered severe wind damage to crops, businesses and homes raised $43,819.

At one house in the diocese, a tree fell on a home’s roof, the ceiling fell in the living room and kitchen and siding broke off. Debris from the storm has been removed but many are facing high deductibles and long wait lists with insurance companies to assess and repair damages, heightening financial worries.

Catholic Charities is working with a partner social service agency, Iowa Community Action, to identify those who needed help and distribute $250 each.

“I cannot believe how generous people have been,” said Deb Powers, Catholic Charities Director of Development.

A COVID-19 special relief fund raised $88,720 for those suffering from the virus. Contributions to the fund continue to support families and the most pressing needs in parishes and schools through the diocese. Catholic Charities works through its contacts and Hispanic ministries to identify individuals who are in need. To date, funds have been distributed in 19 of the 23 counties that comprise the Diocese of Des Moines.

“We are reaching into the counties that we service,” said Holly Ackermann, Community Relations Manager at Catholic Charities. “We are helping people with COVID throughout the diocese.”

The need for relief in the community remains and is anticipated to rise, especially with an increase in COVID-19 cases in the state and greater hesitation to travel and patronize shops and restaurants in person.

For more information on how to apply for relief, email Holly Ackermann. Online giving is available here.