In response to the devastating flash floods that swept across a southern portion of the Philippines shortly before Christmas, the Supreme Council has sent $30,000 in emergency relief funds to assist with the humanitarian efforts in the Mindanao jurisdiction. The money was sent to Caritas Philippines, the charitable and humanitarian organization of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.
“Our hearts and our prayers go out to the people of the Philippines who have been struck by this disaster, and we especially remember all our brother Knights and their families who have been directly affected, and also those others who are working hard to bring relief,” said Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson. “We know the great suffering, hardship, homelessness and loss of life that this storm has brought to the Philippines, and we will continue to work with our Knights and the local Church leaders as they provide help where it is most needed.”
One of the worst natural disasters to hit the southern Pacific nation in decades, Tropical Storm Washi (known locally as Typhoon Sendong) brought more than a month’s worth of rain in the space of 12 hours on December 16, causing more than 1,000 reported deaths and leaving some 500,000 people displaced in and around the area’s population centers of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. Rescue efforts continued as the New Year dawned, with crews searching thousands of collapsed homes and removing tons of downed trees and debris.
In addition to releasing the emergency $30,000 donation, the Supreme Council also has asked councils and individuals to donate to the Order’s Philippine Disaster Relief fund, which can be accessed through the Knights of Columbus web site. Ongoing relief efforts will seek to restore electricity, purify water sources and replenish the food supply.
There are more than 260,000 Knights of Columbus members throughout the three jurisdictions in the Philippines.