Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge (CCDBR) initiated its Incident Management Plan to respond to the floods inundating our Diocese. The group is asking for cash donations to help meet those needs.
"While the exact role and activities will vary and be unique to each disaster,” said David Aguillard, CCDBR Executive Director, "we focus on filling gaps in existing services, primarily for the most vulnerable populations and those with the greatest needs.”
At this time, the Disaster Operations staff are contacting entities within the affected parishes, churches, GOHSEP, and VOAD, identifying special needs populations and finding where gaps in services might exist. From there the agency will develop a plan of action for their response in the initial relief stage of the disaster. Once the damages are assessed, they’ll start preparing for the recovery phase of the disaster.
"Catholic Charities true gift is getting the help to the people who need it the most in the initial stages and then sticking around for the long-haul when people are trying to rebuild their lives,” said CCDBR Executive Director David Aguillard.
"FEMA is unlikely to offer individual assistance to those that suffered damages," he said. "Donations from individuals and grants from corporations and foundations will be the driving force to making sure those that really need help will get it."
"We work all year to prepare for situations like this, and we feel ready to respond,” said Aguillard. "Right now, we don’t know what will be needed, but we know from past experience that people are grateful for whatever assistance is available.”
Since Katrina, agency staff are now considered the disaster response "professionals” in the Catholic Charities network of 175 agencies nationwide. Several have been called upon to serve as faculty in the CCUSA Applied Institute for Disaster Management and are frequently sent to assist other Dioceses respond to their disasters.
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge services are provided regardless of religion in a 12 parish region. For 50 years, CCDBR has been providing life-sustaining services like adoptions, senior employment, prison ministry, migration & refugee services, just to name a few. Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, CCDBR has become the largest social service provider in the area and is the number one referred to agency by the 211-info line. CCDBR is a member of Capital Area United Way and Catholic Charities USA.