Father Oliver Gallegos, OFM needs your help!
He is one of our missionary friars serving the peripheral sector of the city of Acapulco, Mexico, specifically in the severely affected Renacimiento neighborhood. The loss of basic services such as electricity, water, drainage, phone signal, and the Internet has left the population in a dire situation. You can bring hope to the people of Acapulco.
October 25, 2023
In the early hours of October 25, the strongest hurricane to ever hit Mexico’s Pacific coast hammered Acapulco. To everyone’s surprise, Hurricane Otis formed quickly into a category 5 storm. Residents had little time to prepare. The hurricane had sustained winds of 165 mph and gusts up to 205 mph.
This storm killed at least 50 people and caused billions of dollars in damage. Residents still searching for loved ones say the official death toll is likely much higher. Fatalities may be well over 300.
Acapulco, home to over a million people, has had homes and infrastructure blown or washed away. Many homes were flooded with chest-deep water. The electrical power grid was almost destroyed.
The Greatest Catastrophe
Acapulco is facing probably the greatest catastrophe of its history. Water smashed into buildings and flooded homes. The people were traumatized and helpless. Their lives are shattered, and for many, their homes and possessions are just piles of debris, broken wood, and mud.
Many have lost their ability to make a living. The economy was dependent on tourism. Eighty percent of the tourist hotels were damaged severely. Some were destroyed. It will take years to recover from this devasting loss.
For over 50 years, Fr. Oliver and our other missionary friars have been serving the poorest people of Acapulco who live on the fringes of society at the edges of the city. The government has provided few relief efforts to those whom our friars serve.
You can bring hope to the people of Acapulco
You can help Fr. Oliver bring hope to the people of our Franciscan parish, San Francisco de Asís, which is on the fringes of the city in the severely affected Renacimiento neighborhood.
The government is still struggling to clean up the rubbish engulfing some areas. Some 221,000 tons of trash have been collected so far. Trash has been collected more quickly from central areas with hotels.
In outlying neighborhoods like Renacimiento, the smell of rotting garbage has increased as it piles up. Water is puddling in the streets and increasing the spread of mosquitoes. One of Fr. Oliver’s parishioners died recently from dengue fever.
Fr. Oliver submitted an emergency request for financial assistance to help feed the parish families for 6 months. The friars plan to use two of the parish’s storm-damaged chapels as soup kitchens to feed the hurricane survivors.
The goal of Fr. Oliver and the other missionary friars is to feed at least 7,200 people per week by providing meals at each location. This totals 28,800 people per month.
To prepare the 2 dining facilities, it was necessary to install roofs over a portion of both chapels since their roofs blew away during the hurricane. In addition, each facility needed a gas tank, an industrial stove, cookware, industrial blenders, griddles, wooden spatulas, wooden spoons, and other dining room equipment.
A water purification system has been set up at each location. These systems will supply clean, safe water needed for cooking and keeping the facilities clean. Given the high temperatures in the region, an adequate water supply is also required for the constant hydration of the population. The friars hope to provide drinking water to 1,200 people per day.
We sent an emergency grant of $10,000 to help Fr. Oliver prepare these emergency soup kitchens, but now he needs help to purchase the food to feed 12,000 people each day. These friars have limited resources and need our continued support. The number of people in need is overwhelming! Fr. Oliver has requested an additional emergency grant of $50,000 to help purchase the food he needs to care for these victims.
Can You Offer A Special Gift
Can you offer a special gift to help Fr. Oliver feed these poor people? A generous gift of $56 would feed a family of 4 for an entire month! You can feed a family for 2 months with a gift of $112, and a miraculous gift of $336 would feed a family for 6 months!
In the aftermath of the storm, feeding these families is so important for keeping them healthy. On their behalf, I am praying and striving to raise the necessary funds to send to our Franciscan missionaries serving there. We can do this “if only” you will help. Any gift you send would be a blessing, and any gift you send will help feed hurricane survivors who are children and families!
Please send a merciful gift today. Help feed refugees from Hurricane Otis!
Your generosity is the image of God’s mercy and reflects the hope and peace of Christ to the poor!
God bless and reward you for the great charity and kindness of your heart.
Peace and blessings,
Brother Andrew Brophy, OFM