Our Response to Recent Disasters

For those in our Hoya community who can and who wish to support disaster relief efforts through monetary donations, we have tapped our network of Catholic, Jesuit, and mission-based partners to identify several organizations serving the affected regions.  

Hurricane Ida (August 30)

Hurricane Ida’s eye came ashore near Port Fourchon, LA on Sunday, August 29th with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles an hour, as a Category 4 storm. The storm has wreaked havoc and brought heavy rains, flooding, and “catastrophic transmission damage” to Louisiana’s electrical system, leaving the city of New Orleans and over a million people throughout the state without power.

Catholic Charities of Acadiana is on the ground supporting those in Ida’s wake; donate to their efforts at give.classy.org/disaster. If you know someone in need of help in the impacted areas, they should text DISASTER to 797979 or fill out the disaster recovery form.

World Central Kitchen, led by Chef José Andrés, tweeted that a team in New Orleans would activate its kitchen facilities in the city. He said they have supplies already on hand for more than 100,000 meals. Those who wish to help can donate to donate.wck.org/give.

Imagine Water Works has a Hurricane Idea Relief Fund that our partners in New Orleans recommend as a place-based, creative organization that centers folks with marginalized identities in conversations and action around a shared future living with water, working in an intersection of reducing risk from flooding, pollution, and natural hazards.

Supporting Afghan Allies

Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Service (LIRS) is one of the organizations that is supporting Afghan allies who are refugees and asylum seekers. There are urgent volunteer needs in the Washington, DC area now. Monetary donations are preferred greatly, especially during a pandemic, over used goods. We all should learn about the social, economic, and political context of this moment. LIRS has excellent resources on the Special Immigrant Visa process, Afghanistan, and the stories of the people behind the headlines. You can take action for our Afghan allies and advocate through Jesuit Refugee Service.

The Veterans Association at Georgetown University is working with VFW Post 9274 in Falls Church, VA to help sort and organize donations for Afghan refugees. Visit their Afghan Refugee Support (new window) webpage which includes a sign up and additional resources for Georgetown community members to support. As the situation unfolds, we’ll continue to update the page and re-pivot our efforts when necessary. Contact gusva@georgetown.edu with questions.

Protect Afghan Women

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security have long worked in solidarity with Afghan women. They are hearing from Afghan women that their homes are being invaded, their organizations are being looted, they are fearing for their lives and for their families. They are seeing girls being told they are not to go to school anymore, women being told that they can not leave their homes except with a guardian.

If we truly believe that women’s rights are human rights, this is the moment to prove it. The women of Afghanistan urgently need our help, so visit protectafghanwomen.org (new window) and donate to help the evacuation of at-risk Afghan women, call your representatives to urge further action, and spread the word about the conditions in Afghanistan for women civil society and human rights leaders.

Natural Disaster Relief in Haiti

A powerful earthquake struck Haiti, compounding an intense humanitarian disaster from COVID-19 pandemic, food insecurity, and the insecure political situation. For those who wish to support through monetary donations, we alert you to the efforts of Catholic Relief Services and Mercy Corps. Our Jesuit friends at Magis Americas also alert us to the work of the Society of Jesus in Haiti through Foi et Joie (new window) and Service Jésuite aux Migrants that you can support through monetary donations.

Covid-19 Pandemic in India, Brazil, and other countries

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a devastating impact around the world. In recent days, the situation in India is particularly heartbreaking with cases and deaths soaring, and hospitals and medical facilities beyond capacity. Like India, the death toll in Brazil has exceeded 3,000 in the last 24 hours. For those who wish to support public COVID-19 health efforts through monetary donations, we alert you to these mutual aid efforts for India, as shared with us by Nikhil Arur (G’21) – bit.ly/MutualAidIndia. Georgetown also recommends Catholic Relief Services and GAVI, an organization working to provide equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines around the world. 

Violent Responses by the Military Coup in Myanmar

To learn more about the situation in Myanmar, visit progressivevoicemyanmar.org/coup-news-2021 and isupportmyanmar.com.

Wildfires in California, Washington, and Oregon

During the 2020 season, over 3 million acres have burned in California, hundreds of thousands of people have evacuated on the West Coast, and the staggering scale of loss is only beginning to be understood. (fire.ca.gov) Please consider supporting:

Hurricane Laura (August 27)

Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana and eastern Texas as a category 4 storm which expectations to be downgraded to a tropical storm by evening. Please consider supporting:

Explosion in Beirut, Lebanon (August 4)

An explosion the city of Beirut, Lebanon killed over 200 people, injured 5,000, and incurred widespread damage. Many Hoyas call Beirut home and have organized as Hoyas for Lebanon to fundraise for St. George Hospital. Read this post by Dan Corrou, SJ who reports from the Jesuits and JRS staff in Beirut, and offer this Prayer for Beirut. Other Jesuit and Catholic organizations to support include:

Resources for Faculty, Staff, and Students

For those of our Hoya community affected by these disasters, we have many resources available.  

  • If you are in need of spiritual accompaniment, Campus Ministry chaplains and staff are available. For assistance, please call (202) 687-4300.
  • To connect with a clinician at CAPS, please call 202-687-6985 during business hours (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.). The CAPS after-hours service is available by calling 833-960-3006. 
  • Members of the faculty and staff can schedule an appointment through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program by emailing fsap@georgetown.edu.
  • The Georgetown University Alumni Association (GUAA) is also a resource for those impacted. Regional teams reach out to alumni in their affected area, and the GUAA encourages alumni in these areas to update the university regarding their situation.