NCEA Issues a Call to Action for the Dioceses of Pensacola-Tallahassee and Charleston Catholic Schools and All Catholic Schools in Need in the Aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Michael
Catholic school superintendents Mike Juhas and Sandra Leatherwood ask for help with recovery efforts.
Arlington, VA – The National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) has reached out to the superintendents from all the areas affected by the Hurricanes Florence and Michael. While many schools have suffered some damage, the significant damage to St. John School in Panama City has prompted Michael Juhas, superintendent of Catholic Schools for Pensacola-Tallahassee, to reach out for assistance. In the Diocese of Charleston, superintendent Sandra Leatherwood identifies Holy Trinity Catholic School in Longs, SC, as facing repairs for the next several months.
The damage to parishes and Catholic schools in the Florida panhandle and the Carolinas is still being assessed and the call for help might be expanded, but the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee was directly in the path of Hurricane Michael and sustained catastrophic damage, including critical damage to St. John School. In the Diocese of Charleston, students at Holy Trinity School will not be returning to campus for several months.
Mr. Juhas has outlined specific needs and ways to help St. John:
1) A collection of funds for St. John Catholic School to help with opening a temporary home for children to attend school and for rebuilding the school is being accepted right now. The link below will take you to the page where you can give online. People can also give by texting #FUNDS to 850-988-7954.
To donate to St. John Catholic School, visit https://bit.ly/2NHrojj or https://stjohncatholicschool.com/.
2) The diocese is also in desperate need of volunteers to help on the ground. St. Dominic Parish in Panama City is home base, and it takes 50-75 volunteers per day to support basic needs for those impacted in the area. The links below have more information on disaster recovery, and there is an electronic sign-up if groups want to come to Panama City to help with the efforts: https://ptdiocese.org/hurricanemichael or https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0d4da5aa28a7fd0-hurricane.
In addition, the diocese is working in conjunction with Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida, accepting crucial cash donations at https://bit.ly/1kRR0Er.
For those living nearby and wishing to donate goods, the urgent needs include: water, tarps, nonperishable food items, baby food and diapers, cleaning supplies and gloves and pet supplies.
Ms. Leatherwood asks that donations for Holy Trinity Catholic School be made on the school website: www.htcatholicschoolmyrtlebeach.com. Use the Donate Now icon. The category listed for donations is: Flood Recovery.
Please remember both dioceses and all those affected by the storms in your daily prayers.
NCEA will continue to monitor reports of damage to other dioceses and Catholic schools to determine where additional help might be needed.
In service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, NCEA strengthens Catholic school communities by providing professional development, formation, leadership and advocacy.