Emergency Relief

Seton Institute cannot forecast when and where the next natural disaster will hit. But we’re certain of one thing: it’s only a matter of time before the next one does hit.

If past disasters are a fair predictor of future ones, the next disaster will feature Catholic Sisters on the ground in the thick of the strike zone. They will be there sorting through rubble, assessing needs and delivering relief services to those displaced. They will be helping minimize suffering in communities that have their trust. They will have found their unique role. And rest assured, they will be doing their best to provide a safety net to any soul at risk of falling through the cracks.

Seton Institute has established a long track record of responding effectively to humanitarian crisis situations where our Sisters are involved. Our first disaster response occurred in 1987 when we shipped $200,000 of medical aid to El Salvador after a devastating earthquake. Hurricane Mitch in Central America followed in 1988,…then the cholera epidemic in Peru in 1993,…Tropical Storm Jeanne in Haiti in 2004,…the South Asian tsunami in 2005,…and most recently the floods in Indonesia and the earthquake in Peru in 2007.

Since 1987, Seton Institute has remained on alert – ready at a moment’s notice to respond to the Sisters’ call for help. When disaster strikes, we identify Sisters in the region and listen to their needs assessment. If necessary, we dispatch personnel to the disaster zone. And we mobilize you – our partners and donor network. Financial and in-kind contributions funnel in. And as quickly as these resources arrive, they’re efficiently distributed to the Sisters in the field.

Seton Institute does not parachute into a disaster zone, wiping our hands of the situation as soon as the aircraft’s wheels lift off the tarmac. Because these Sisters are from the community in crisis – they live there, eat there, sleep there and serve there – our work is only finished when they tell us it’s finished. That means long-term rehabilitation is as important to us as immediate response, relief and recovery.