Friday, March 5, 2010
Help for Chile's Earthquake Victims
When the 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile early Saturday, Feb. 27, our thoughts went immediately to all the Jesuits we know there. Were they safe? What had happened to their churches, their homes, their schools?
And how could we help?
The Maryland Province immediately got to work to set up the Chile Relief Fund to wire aid to the our friends and brothers, the Chilean Jesuits, to be used by two Jesuit-directed organizations, Hogar de Cristo and Un Techo para Chile.
Hogar de Cristo (Home of Christ) founded by St. Alberto Hurtado, SJ, is a comprehensive aid organization that is working with the National Emergency Office (Chile’s FEMA) to provide food, blankets, diapers and charcoal throughout the country.
Un Techo Para Chile (A Roof For Chile), a Habitat for Humanity style organization which provides housing for the poor, in coordination with the schools, Christian Life Communities, Alberto Hurtado University and Infocap school, is working with volunteers to clear rubble, rebuild houses and construct temporary one-room shelters.
The Maryland Province has had a long-standing relationship with Chile since the first Maryland Jesuits went to work in Chile 51 years ago. The Maryland and Chilean provinces formalized their relationship with a twinning agreement.
Eugenio Valenzuela, SJ, Chilean provincial, has sent reports to William C. Rickle, SJ, provincial assistant for Latino migration and ministry, noting that with each report from around Chile, the news continues to get worse and the need for aid more obvious.
To make a donation, send your check, made payable to “Maryland Province Jesuits Fund” to Maryland Province Jesuits Fund, P.O. Box 64818, Baltimore, MD 21264. Write the notation “Chile Relief Fund” on your check. To make a donation online, go to www.mdsj.org and click on the Chile Relief Fund link.
In the meantime, we'll keep posting updates on all that is happening to help the victims of this most devastating earthquake.