In most dioceses this weekend the second collections at Mass will go toward the Diocese support for the Philippines. The dioceses will be using the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) to distribute the funds collected. Many of you have asked me for an alternative to the CRS as the CRS has a reputation for donating some of the funds to other organizations who are in conflict with Catholic doctrine. Some have suggested the cause of this is due to the fact CRS also collects funds from the government and must follow government requirements and not Catholic doctrine.
I wish to point out the Knights of Columbus are also collecting donations for their organization and the money collected will be given directly to the Knights in the Philippines. The Knights are a fantastic and reputable organizations and I suggest all members and others who may wish to donate to them do so. More Information, and how you can donate to them, will be provided at the end of this email. The Knights do not advocate anyone donating entirely to them and ignoring other appeals.
Several of us have investigated a number of alternatives to CRS and we are providing information on our recommended organization. This organization does not collect any government funds and a whopping 97 percent of its income is spent for the purposes intended. It has a top rating by Catholic Navigator (www.charitynavigator.org). Check it out!
The organization we recommend is the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB). The CMMB appears to be a solid and faithful Catholic group. Not only are their moneys well spent, but when checking them out under their FAQs they responded very positively to a question on their policy regarding condoms as a means to prevent HIV/AIDS. They stated CMMB does not purchase or receive donations of condoms. They further stated CMMB follows national guidelines established by the ministry of health, and those of the presiding Conference of Catholic Bishops in each country where they have HIV and AIDS programs. I believe we can make the assumption that providing complete and accurate information about condoms as part of our prevention efforts means they educate people with the fact condoms are not a fool-proof way of protection against HIV, AIDS, & other STDs.
The response to the immense need in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan CMMB has made shipments of essential meds and hygiene kits of over $2 million earlier this week. They are also preparing additional shipments of medicines at the request of the Philippine Consul General for airlift.
Check them out on their website www.cmmb.org. You can donate online or mail them a check to Catholic Medical Mission Board, PO Box 4715, New York NY 10164-3549.
In regard to donations to the Knights of Columbus, please check out this link to read about their emergency relief fund. http://www.kofc.org/un/en/charities/articles/disasterrelief.html.
Be sure and watch the short video. The K of C is well established with councils in the Philippines so the relief will be provided to the councils and churches in the immediate area. If you have questions you can call the number at the bottom of their web page.