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Posted on Mar 10, 2012 |

Tornado Relief: How to Help

Tornado Relief: How to Help

Barbara Smith and her daughter, Allison, pray Sunday at St. Francis Xavier in Henryville, IN, which escaped the destruction that leveled much of the nearby town. Photo by David Lee Hartlage/The Courier-Journal, via the Associated Press.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Northern Kentucky (SVDP-NKY) and the New Richmond St. Vincent De Paul Society at St. Peter parish are collecting money and food for victims of Friday’s tornadoes. Covington’s Bishop, Roger Foys, has also called for all parishes in the diocese to take up a second collection this weekend for tornado relief.

Spokesmen for The Archdiocese of Cincinnati and Indianapolis and the Diocese of Covington say that no Catholic churches in the Sacred Heart Radio listening area were seriously damaged by the line of tornadoes that raced through the region. However, many homes were damaged in the area and beyond, as was the church building in Henryville, IN — which was featured in a New York Times story Saturday. The church, which is still usable, was used for weekend Masses and as a staging point for area relief efforts.

The parish of St. Peter in New Richmond, OH, is helping victims of the hard-hit Moscow, OH, area. Fr. Mike Leshney, pastor of St. Peter and of St. Mary’s in Bethel, OH, has asked for prayers for all involved. He suggests that anyone wanting to help can donate non-perishable food and toiletries, or make donations to the St. Peter, New Richmond St. Vincent De Paul Society, 1192 Bethel-New Richmond Rd, New Richmond OH 45157.

SVDP-NKY has set up a Tornado Relief Fund for long-term help to victims in the Piner and California, KY, areas. “The American Red Cross and many local groups have done a great job responding to the emergency needs of the people in our area,” says Executive Director Ralph Bradburn. “We are so fortunate to have them there to help when an emergency like this occurs. Once the media and the emergency response teams move on however, the residents of this area will have a long road back to recovery and that is how you can help.” Send donations to the St. Vincent de Paul Tornado Relief Fund, 2655 Crescent Springs Road, Covington, KY  41017.

Many other people are stepping up to help. A Cincinnati music store, Mike’s Music, is organizing a Tornado Relief Concert all day Sunday at the Duck Creek Tavern in Cold Spring, KY. Local musicians are enthusiastically adding themselves to the bill — including Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Dave Hawkins, a Cincinnati resident who tours nationally and internationally, and who has helped organize or appeared at numerous disaster relief concerts including an Austin concert for Hurricane Katrina victims and a Tsunami Relief Concert in Montreal.

“When Marc Caudill from Duck Creek asked me about this concert I didn’t think twice about saying yes,” he says. “I’ve always believed that on any given day, whatever happens to any one of us can literally happen to ANY ONE OF US! I’ve always tried to see the good in others and feel that if I were in the same situation as folks who are hurting they would do the same for me.”

Performers scheduled so far include Dave Hawkins,The Mudpies, Sticky Honey, John Fink, and Tempers, and organizers expect to add many more. The concert begins at 1 pm and continues all day; donations will be taken at the door, split-the-pot raffles will be held every half hour, and more fundraisers are planned. The Duck Creek Tavern is at the corner of Route 8 and Industrial Road; for more information see the concert Facebook page.

Catholic Charities USA is also collecting donations for all tornado-affected areas. To donate, see their web site. You can also make a donation to the Bishop’s second collection by sending a check payable to “Diocese of Covington” to the Diocese of Covington Stewardship and Mission Offices, P.O. Box 15550, Covington, Ky. Write “2012 Storm Relief Fund” on the description line.