Hurricane Harvey finally is moving on from its battering of Texas and Louisiana, but the collection to address the needs wrought by the storm’s damage has already begun. The devastation is widespread and the plight of tens of thousands of people made homeless, along with other needs, are immediate.

The United States Conference for Catholic Bishops has asked all dioceses to take up an emergency Hurricane Harvey Relief Collection on the weekend of Sept. 16 and 17. Donations from the collection will be forwarded to Catholic Charities USA, the official agency that responds to emergencies in the U.S.

Donated funds will support disaster response and recovery efforts including direct assistance, rebuilding and health care services.

In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, parishes can take up the collection immediately so that money may be sent as soon as possible. Subsequent donations may continue to be sent to the archdiocesan Office for Financial Services which will forward funds to Catholic Charities USA.

Individuals can make a donation with a valid credit card on the Catholic Charities USA website.