Bishop Extends Flood Assistance Effort

Asks Catholic Community to Pray for Those Affected


Additional $15,000 Awarded for Clothing and Food Assistance to those With Flooded Homes

(PROVIDENCE, R.I.)-The Most Rev. Thomas J. Tobin, Bishop of the Diocese of Providence, today announced that the Catholic Church will extend for several weeks its effort to help those affected by floods throughout Rhode Island. Since the three-day rainstorm that affected the state earlier in March, the Church has provided immediate needs such as clothing and food for those who have been forced to evacuate their homes due to the recent flooding. Today, the Bishop awarded an additional $15,000 to help those in need for a total of $25,000.

The Bishop is also appealing to parishes throughout the diocese to pray this weekend for those affected by flooding.

“The rains that have fallen throughout Rhode Island have created additional problems for those coping with floods from two weeks ago,” said Bishop Tobin. “I have asked our satellite office in West Warwick to extend their efforts to provide immediate assistance for Rhode Islanders in need. The emergency funds will not address all needs of those affected, however they will provide some short-term comfort to those who will endure some very difficult challenges in the coming days.”

Two weeks ago, the Bishop awarded a $10,000 grant to the diocesan West Warwick Catholic Charity and Social Ministry satellite office to help those with immediate needs as flood waters began to recede. Since that time, many have contacted the satellite office seeking food and clothing assistance in the form of gift cards to Wal-Mart and local supermarkets. The funds were made available from the Diocesan Assistance Fund.

“During this Holy Week, I ask that the faithful pray for those whose homes and businesses have been adversely affected by the heavy rains,” added the Bishop.

Individuals who would like to apply for assistance through this diocesan program should contact the West Warwick Catholic Charity and Social Ministry satellite office at 823-6211. Assistance will be provided in a timely manner based upon urgency of need.

Since its inception in 2008, the Diocesan Assistance Fund has provided more than $100,000 in assistance to local organizations that provide direct service to those in need. The fund has awarded grants to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries to provide for the hungry and homeless. The fund also assisted the Boys and Girls Club of Providence last summer in their efforts to pay overdue utility bills as they sought to keep the centers open and many other efforts that provide direct assistance to those in need.