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EWTN Pitches in to Aid Tornado Victims (2259)

05/20/2011 Comment

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (CNA/EWTN News) — The Eternal Word Television Network, in cooperation with Bishop Robert Baker of Birmingham, is reaching out to help victims of the devastating tornadoes that hit Alabama.

Michael Warsaw, the network’s president and CEO, and other staff members will join Bishop Baker, along with the Knights of Columbus and local churches, to serve breakfast to tornado victims in Pratt City’s Scott School May 23. After the breakfast, they will distribute $70,000 worth of new clothes.

“Many of us in the EWTN family living in Alabama watched our friends and neighbors lose everything they had in the destructive tornadoes that hit the southeastern United States,” Warsaw said in a statement on behalf of the network.

EWTN employees have received up to three days of paid leave to volunteer at numerous disaster sites, left by an outbreak of more than 300 tornadoes and accompanying floods from April 25-28.

The network’s home state of Alabama suffered the worst damage from the storms, which killed more than 300 people in seven states.

“While EWTN was spared from damage, the region was devastated,” said Warsaw. “We grieve the loss of life and suffering that the storms caused.”

Managers from the TV network have also helped coordinate relief efforts with the Diocese of Birmingham. Bishop Baker, who began visiting victims immediately after the tornadoes ended, has taken up a special collection for tornado relief and asked that all Catholic parishes function as “centers of assistance.”

Members of four Alabama Catholic parishes — St. Peter’s in Hoover, St. Thomas in Montevallo and St. Mark’s and Our Lady of the Valley in Birmingham — will assist the EWTN staff and the Knights of Columbus in serving breakfast and distributing clothing to the victims May 23.

Warsaw said that the entire staff of EWTN was grateful for network supporters’ “continued prayers and assistance to the diocesan relief efforts.” He thanked viewers and contributors for helping the network “answer this call to serve those in need at this difficult time.”

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