New Mobile Response Center vehicle will arrive in Texas for hurricane relief

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The staff of Catholic Charities USA formed a human chain Sept. 1 to move boxes of diapers, bottles of bleach and cans of mosquito repellent into their new Mobile Response Center vehicle.

The vehicle, donated to CCUSA by Ford Motor Company Aug. 22, will be deployed to Texas filled with supplies for those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Kim Burgo, CCUSA senior director of disaster response operations, and a driver set out in the vehicle Sept. 2, headed to San Antonio.

“Things go really well when you plan them on a sunny day, but when you try to implement them during a disaster, everything becomes chaotic,” said Burgo. “The information changes by the hour.

“Places like Rockport where the hurricane made landfall are no longer in the news but our staff went (there Aug. 31) and said the entire thing is demolished,” Burgo said. “We have to start there because right now in Houston the waters still need to recede.” The itinerary includes Houston, Galveston, Corpus Christi before moving on to Louisiana.

In addition to bringing supplies to people who weren’t able to evacuate, the vehicle will provide charging stations for 80 devices and Wi-Fi access to help people communicate with loved ones.

Dominican Sister Donna Markham, CCUSA president and CEO, said thanks to the generosity of people who made online or texted donations, she will present $2 million in donations to Catholic Charities in Galveston-Houston, Beaumont, Corpus Christi, Lake Charles, and the dioceses of Victoria and San Antonio.

She said the second collection that the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops is coordinating “will be wonderful to assist in the long-term recovery efforts.”

Burgo called Catholic Charities workers on the ground in the hurricane’s path heroes.

“They are called to be caregivers,” she said, “while they are disaster survivors themselves.”

How to help

Donate online at arlingtondiocese.org.

Catholic Charities USA at bit.ly/ccusaharvey.

Text CCUSADISASTER to 71777. 

 

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2017

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