A special collection for flood victims in the Southern Tier had raised $115,000 through Oct. 25, according to Doug Mandelaro, diocesan spokesperson.
The collection, held at the request of Bishop Matthew H. Clark, took place throughout the diocese on or near the weekend of Sept. 24-25. Mandelaro said approximately half of all diocesan parishes have reported in as of Oct. 25. Donation funds will be coordinated by diocesan Catholic Charities and its regional offices.
This outpouring of generosity is a response to record flooding that took place in early September, crippling much of Tioga County as well as parts of Chemung and Tompkins counties.
"It never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully generous and responsive Catholics are in the Diocese of Rochester to people in need, whether it be overseas or something closer to home like the flood," Mandelaro said. "We’re in one of the worst economic situations in our country that we’ve been in in a long time, and yet people seem to look beyond that and sacrifice and give of their hearts and their prayer. It’s just so gratifying and wonderful."
The Susquehanna River crested at a record 40 feet in the village of Owego, Tioga County, whereas the flood level was a mere 30 feet. A major disaster was declared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for Tioga County as well as neighboring Broome County in the Syracuse Diocese and many surrounding communities.
Donations may continue to be made by designating checks for flood relief and sending them to Tioga Outreach, 464 Broad St., Waverly, NY 14892.