Miami faithful remain connected to Cuba

Images of submerged streets and mangled roofs have faded from the headlines. But the greatest storm to touch down in Cuba in decades is still very much a reality for Cubans, CRS, and its partners providing outreach from Miami.

Hurricanes Gustav and Ike tore through areas of Cuba in August and September, causing record damage and forced 3 million residents from their homes. This was no ordinary storm season. Cubans face a long and arduous road to recovery.

This is why the front lawn of the Daughters of Charity in West Miami remains filled with relief supplies. With the help of CRS, the Daughters of Charity this week will have sent 21 large shipping containers of food, medicine and hygiene supplies among other items. So far over $1 million in relief has been sent to the country, says CRS' Lynn Renner, who recently visited the sisters and the Miami Archdiocese.

Under a canopy of palm trees, petite but stalwart nuns and dozens of volunteers work side by side to sort and pack goods bound for the island.

"They were going about their business very intently," says Renner. "They have the help they needed and are saying we want to do this to help. They were serious about making sure that everything was categorized properly and of good quality."

In total, CRS and Daughters of Charity plan to send more than 700,000 pounds of food and medicines and other relief supplies to the island.

CRS is also sending 5,000 roofing panels to Cuba. They were provided by the Friends of Caritas Cuba.

You can also help by making a donation to CRS' Latin America and Caribbean Severe Weather Fund.

Kai T. Hill, CRS associate web producer