Catholic Relief Services

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Catholic Bishops in the United States founded Catholic Relief Services in 1943 to serve World War II survivors. Since then it has expanded and reaches over 100 million people on five continents in over 100 countries.

Catholic Relief Services works in the spirit of social teaching to help promote the dignity of people and the sacredness of human life. Even though it is rooted in Catholicism, CRS serves people based solely on their need regardless of ethnicity, religion or race.

Catholic Relief Services has a board of directors of clergy that govern its operations with the majority being bishops with Catholic laymen and women. They maintain strict accountability, efficiency and transparency. Over 94% of revenues were used directly in programs that helped the poor overseas.

They work in a number of different programs that focus on agriculture, emergency response, HIV/AIDS eradication and peace building. With agriculture, their aim is improving the well-being of families through developing agriculture not only for sustainability but also to create an income for the community, so that the communities can eventually develop their own.

Their emergency response is for man-made and natural disasters that affect the poor. They ensure that the most basic of needs are covered in the disaster area population so people can live with dignity. They promote programs that are community based and help those with HIV/AIDS and try to address the causes in each community to control the spread of the disease and ways to reduce it.

The agency is also committed to instill peace in where ever they go and it on top of their priorities list. In this context, it is defined for the long term as a way to build stable, peaceful societies and communities. A team was assembled of regional advisors along with technical staff that was based in their headquarters to work with their partners. Following that, a number of peace building programs were initiated.


Catholic Relief Services is committed to carrying out the Bishops of the United States' commitment to help the vulnerable and the poverty stricken around the world. The Gospel of Jesus Christ to preserve, uphold and cherish the dignity and sacredness of all humans, foster justice and charity and to embody the Catholic moral and social teachings in order to accomplish the following are the basis in which the organization moves forward.

They are committed to answering the call to fighting diseases, poverty, responding to disasters and nurturing just and peaceful societies. As part of the practice of the Catholic Church, they work together with local, national as well as international Catholic organizations and others to help people with their needs, without bias to race, creed or nationality.

Catholic Relief Services also helps to address the root causes of conflict, poverty and marginalization by examining the issues that directly affect the well-being and safety of the vulnerable and poor worldwide. The organization created a partnership with the USCCB, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops as well as other organizations of Catholicism to help develop positions of public policy with international and U.S. decision makers.

Catholic Relief Services also encourages the participation of Catholics both in the United States and abroad to help so that practices and policies that are beneficial to brothers and sisters worldwide can come to fruition. They offer a number of resources devoted to education, provide training and promote national campaigns, advocacy and speakers to create community involvement.

They help to bring food, medicine and other valuable resources to those in need worldwide. Through a worldwide network they are able to give to those in need that either cannot provide for themselves or are facing situations that are not in their control and need their basic necessities of food, water and shelter provided to them.


Catholic Relief Services was first started in 1943 during the Second World War, with the aim of resettling European war refugees. It was established to help the war torn area of Europe and the refugees in the area to recover following the great conflict. Since its inception and even till the present day the focus has been to help the less fortunate people around the world.

During the 1950s, Europe started regaining its balance and Catholic Relief Services began to look at other areas of the world. From the 1950s through to the 1970s, the CRS expanded into Latin America, Asia and Africa. CRS increased their tradition of providing emergency relief during disasters.

They also started to seek ways of helping societies in the developing world break the ongoing cycle of poverty. They began sustainable initiatives that were community based. Today these programs include community banks, agricultural initiatives, clean water projects and health education making sure that the local community is the central player in its own development.

The 1990s brought Catholic Relief Services presence into natural disaster aftermath recoveries like Hurricane Mitch, which caused catastrophe in much of Central America. They also were present for man-made disasters like Kosovo and they continued their policy of helping create sustainability for the long term in the effected areas.

With nearly 70 years of experience working overseas, Catholic Relief Services has the understanding that a society is not rebuilt by only using mortar and brick. The agency seeks to create a sense of global solidarity in the US Catholic community to help them see the world as one.

Today Catholic Relief Services maintains its commitment to the most vulnerable people and continue to reassess their mission. It is constantly aware of fulfilling the mandate of the gospel that most clearly follows the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, which is the foundation of all the work they provide.

Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Mon9:00 AM5:00 PM
Tue9:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr9:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM5:00 PM
Notes: None Listed


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