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About Us

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Overview

Catholic Relief Services is the international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community. Founded in 1943, we work in over 100 countries overseas to help the poor and vulnerable. Last year, we touched the lives of more than 80 million people.

CRS is efficient and effective. More than 94 percent of the money we spend goes directly toward programs that benefit the poor overseas, without regard to race, belief or nationality.

Mission

Catholic Relief Services works outside the United States to save lives, address poverty, promote human dignity and help build more peaceful societies. We work in partnership with other organizations that share our vision. Within the United States, we engage Catholics to live their faith as part of one human family.

History

In 1943, during WWII, the Roman Catholic Bishops of the United States established Catholic Relief Services to help war-torn Europe and its refugees recover and resettle from this great conflict. Today, nearly 65 years later, our mission continues to focus on the poor overseas, using the gospel of Jesus Christ as our mandate. We continually seek to help those most in need, providing assistance on the basis of need, without regard to race, creed, or nationality.

In the 1950s, the agency began to seek out those other parts of the world that could benefit from the assistance of U.S. Catholics. For the next two decades, CRS expanded its operations and opened offices in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, building on its tradition of providing relief in emergency situations seeking ways to help people in the developing world break the cycle of poverty through community-based, sustainable development initiatives.

Program

Catholic Relief Services works through an extensive network of partners on five continents. We respond to victims of natural and man-made disasters, alleviate human suffering and support self-help programs that promote human dignity. We provide direct, immediate assistance when needed, then create the conditions that encourage people to participate in their own development. Together, these approaches foster secure, productive communities that enable people to realize their potential.

The programs of Catholic Relief Services feed the poor through agriculture and food projects; promote better health through HIV/AIDS and other health projects; build a better society through peace building and civil society projects; and promote self-sufficiency through education and small loan projects.

Impact

CRS touches the lives of millions people every year, most recently providing more than 166,000 earthquake victims in Pakistan with emergency supplies, shelter, education, water and sanitation materials, and livelihood support. CRS also Responded to the Indian Ocean tsunami with one of the largest relief efforts in our history — a five-year, $190-million investment in emergency and long-term assistance, and cared for more than 14 million people living with HIV and AIDS throughout the world. CRS also provided clean water, food, education, shelter and basic supplies to thousands of people in war-ravaged Sudan.

Goals

1. CRS will significantly increase its programs to respond to the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, including counseling and testing, behavior change and life-skills education, treatment with antiretroviral (ARV) medications, home-based care for those infected, support for those left behind, and raising awareness about the disease to reduce the stigma against HIV-positive individuals.

2. CRS will provide timely humanitarian assistance to victims of war and natural disasters, and help them rebuild their lives and livelihoods with dignity.

3. CRS will provide greater opportunities for people in the U.S. to connect with the people we serve overseas through six regional offices across the U.S. carrying out programs such as Fair Trade, Operation Rice Bowl and Global Solidarity Partnerships.

CEO

Ken Hackett

After a term with the Peace Corps, Ken Hackett joined CRS in 1972, beginning his career in Sierra Leone and then held posts throughout Africa and the Philippines, as well as a variety of positions at CRS headquarters. Mr. Hackett has led CRS since 1993.

Additionally, he has served as North America president of Caritas Internationalis and is currently a member of several key U.S. bishops' committees.

In 2004, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination to the board of directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a federal effort to increase aid to countries that demonstrate a commitment to ruling justly, investing in people and encouraging economic freedom.

Board

Most Rev. Timothy Dolan - Chair
Archbishop of Milwaukee

Most Rev. J. Kevin Boland
Bishop of Savannah

Most Rev. Patrick R. Cooney
Bishop of Gaylord

Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio - Treasurer
Bishop of Brooklyn

Mr. John H. Griffin, Jr.
President, Meredith Publishing Group

Most Rev. Curtis J. Guillory, SVD
Bishop of Beaumont

Mr. Richard S. Kearney
President & CEO, Mainline Information Systems

Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz
Archbishop of Louisville, KY

Judge Diana Lewis
Palm Beach County

Rev. Paul L. Locatelli, SJ
President Santa Clara University

Most Rev. Denis J. Madden
Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore

Rev. Msgr. David J. Malloy - Secretary
General Secretary, USCCB

Theodore Cardinal McCarrick
Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, DC

Most Rev. George V. Murry, SJ
Bishop of Youngstown

Mr. James N. Perry, Jr.
Managing Director, Madison Dearborn Partners

Mrs. Constance L. Proctor
Attorney, Vandeberg Johnson &Gandara

Mrs. Karen Rauenhorst
Community Volunteer

Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan
Archbishop of Santa Fe

Most Rev. George L. Thomas
Bishop of Helena

Most Rev. John Charles Wester
Bishop of Salt Lake City

Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo
Dean, Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame

Countries

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Costa Rica, Cote D'Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Jamaica, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Macedonia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Republic of, Morocco, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Korea, Democratic People's Republic of, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, United Republic of, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Contact

P.O. Box 17090

Baltimore, MD 21203-7090

Phone: (888) 277-7575

www.crs.org

EIN: 13-5563422


Basic Needs

Community

Countries and Regions

Education

Health

Opportunity

Religious Charities

Purify Water

One year for a family

Your gift will improve the quality of life for rural communities. Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Americas. CRS Honduras is working with our partner to meet the water needs of poor farm families. This project includes the construction of gravity-based irrigation systems that are best suited for the rocky, hilly terrain of the project sites. It also provides education and training...

$52.00

Save A Family

One relief kit

As you might imagine, the most pressing needs are safe (and dry) shelter, food, and clean water. Many water pumps are submerged and wells are polluted. An emergency kit, which costs CRS only $40 to provide per family, contains vital relief supplies, including tarps, water purifiers, kitchen sets, buckets, and 10-day rations of high-protein food. We've been able to reach 70,000 families across the region...

$40.00

Find Alternatives

Counsel 15 migrants

Your gift will support shelters, drop-in centers, and local pastoral teams with humanitarian efforts to assist people migrating through Mexico. Migrants often fall prey to assault and extortion as they pass through Mexico, and they risk their lives passing through treacherous deserts and rivers. CRS and the Catholic Church work to promote alternatives to migration in Mexico and advocate for comprehensive immigration reform in the...

$100.00

Reduce Poverty

25 loans for women

Your gift will provide small loans to reduce poverty and suffering. Many women in rural Egypt contribute to their household income by operating small home businesses, but often have a hard time breaking even. CRS and Egyptian partners provide loans and technical assistance to women in Minia who wish to increase their family incomes by starting or expanding small businesses such as raising small animals...

$90.00

Promote Literacy

Classes for 62 students

Your gift will provide new learning opportunities to impoverished children. This educational project helps train teachers in new teaching methods so they can educate children, especially girls, in poor areas of the Congo. Among other goals, this project distributes textbooks; chalk and blackboard paint, and gives schools the tools and materials they need to refurbish old school buildings. The education plan encourages girls to attend...

$75.00

Help People Cope

Counsel 48 couples

Your gift will provide counseling on HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases to couples in the Diocese of Kaya. This Couple-to-Couple Counseling Project trains volunteer couples to visit married and engaged couples to talk about HIV and AIDS. The volunteer couples use bicycles to reach vulnerable couples in remote areas. The project trains participants to develop safe-living plans. Information and awareness-raising sessions are also used...

$100.00

Prepare for Disaster

Training for 10 people

Your gift will strengthen the capacity of communities to manage risks and prepare for disasters. This project works to prevent the devastating effects of catastrophes in vulnerable villages. CRS and our partners work closely with local authorities to provide comprehensive emergency response plans. Your generous gift of $30 will help train 10 community members for one year.

$30.00

Give Women A Voice

One year of training

Your gift will help improve local human rights laws in 238 villages of rural Orissa, one of the least developed states in India. This project strengthens the voice of women, young people and grassroots groups in community-level planning. It also trains and supports local leaders so they can help their communities by improving the delivery of essential services. Your most generous gift of $106 will...

$106.00