Fiscally responsible, ethically and morally sound group! I love this group because I feel like it helps me live my faith. Christ said "What you do for the least of your brothers, you do for me." This is a way to help people living in abject poverty. I can't possibly travel to these places on my own and yet I know they need help and CRS is there. They help not only in emergencies and disasters but are also engaged in trying to create long term change. Their best programs are the ones that help build infrastructure like digging wells and help people become economically independent. Whether they are digging wells, building schools or medical clinics, empowering women, or fostering economic development, CRS does a great job!
Over the past several years, in my role as a a campus minister, I've accompanied college students on short term immersions in the developing world. Whenever possible we arrange to spend some time with Catholic Relief Services (CRS ). Having seen first hand projects ranging from peace-building to agriculture, from economic justice to HIV/AIDS care and from health care to education reform, I believe that CRS is a great non-profit. They are mission-driven and fiscally responsible. They adhere to an integral human development model that respects the dignity of the people and communities where they work. Thus, outside the US, most of their employees are local folks from in-country.
At the most personal level, I admire and respect CRS because of the mission as I understand it: to spread the good news. This does not mean proselytizing or converting, not in the least. It means clean water and sanitation, Fair Trade, basic health care, education, women's empowerment, disaster relief. It means respecting the human dignity of each and all and it means striving to live in solidarity with all of God's creation.
If I had one more career in me - CRS would have my resume in a minute. ; )
A little over six months after the terrible earthquake struck Port- au -Prince in the Island of Haiti I had the opportunity to visit that country and city with Catholic Relief Services. We saw first hand the devastation that that poor country experienced. But we also saw the resilient efforts made by Catholic Relief Services and some of its partners to bring some degree of assistance by way of shelter, medicine, and food to the victims, not just of the earthquake but also of the ensuing cholera epidemic that came on the heels of the earthquake. CRS imported a number of rubble crushing machines from Africa to help alleviate the conditions in Port-au-Prince. Although it was not enough to solve the total problem of the toxic rubble that lay everywhere in the city, it provided employment to local people to crush the rubble and make sand for the concrete floors of the temporary shelters that were being constructed by CRS
It was a win-win situation. The rubble was being cleared and local people were given employment, thanks to the imaginative efforts of CRS
CRS is the U.S. Catholic foreign relief and development agency. I have been a very appreciative and proud supporter of CRS for several decades. CRS does a very professional and efficient job of helping and empowering people in about 100 countries throughout the world. Working mostly through local churches, we take advantage of our existing infrastructure to efficiently help in times of disaster (like the Haiti earthquake) and empower under-developed communities to be healthier physically and economically. We also have successful peacekeeping programs. For the last four years I have been a CRS Fair Trade Ambassador promoting Fair Trade (a great development and justice tool) in my parish and diocese and pretty much everywhere I go. The staff in Baltimore is very supportive and appreciative of the work that we ambassadors do within our communities. It is an honor and a pleasure to do this volunteer work for CRS.
Catholic Relief Services is the best agency I have been involved with. Their dedicated work to develop countries overseas is unparalleled and their education in the US is phenomenal. They also have an incredible "CRS Fair Trade Ambassador Program" - one of the most informative, electric and life-changing experiences I have had. I have shared my knowledge from this program for years now and been empowered to make simple small changes every day of my life.