Amazing outpouring

Donations to Catholic Community Services top $216,000 for mudslide victims; donations still being accepted


Aerial view of side of hill and SR 530 after the March 22, 2014 landslide
Aerial view of the SR 530 landslide in Oso and a side view of the hill that gave way on March 22. Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation/Creative Commons via Flickr


By Jean Parietti

In just over three weeks, people have given more than $139,000 through Catholic Community Services to help those affected by the Oso mudslide.

“That’s a huge amount. It speaks to the generosity of the community, that’s for sure,” said Will Rice, regional chief of operations for CCS Northwest.

The donations will defray the funeral expenses of those who perished in the March 22 disaster, assist those who lost their homes and possessions, and help the Oso community in a variety of other ways.

CCS is forwarding the money donated by mail and through its website to Father Tim Sauer, pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Arlington and St. John Vianney Mission in Darrington, who is distributing the funds according to the needs of those affected.

Immaculate Conception is also accepting donations to defray funeral expenses and pay for disaster relief. Donations may be made by mail or through the parish’s website (see below for details). A tally of donations to date isn’t yet available, Father Sauer said.

Besides collecting donations, CCS is helping those affected by the slide in a variety of ways:

- Staffers from CCS’ Coordinated Entry and Rapid Rehousing program in Everett are working at special centers in Arlington and Darrington to help those affected by the slide navigate the resources available, Rice said. “We’ve had 12 staff rotating in and out of those two centers,” he said.

- CCS has been alerted that it may be called to deploy under Catholic Charities USA’s contract with FEMA for disaster case management services. Six CCS employees are in “ready” status and four more are on standby, Rice said. These staffers were deployed to the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and “are our most experienced folks in doing this.”

- Starting April 7, nine clinical staff members from CCS’ children’s mental health program will work, two at a time, at Darrington Elementary School for at least two weeks, Rice said. They will “assess and provide whatever services are needed by the kids and families and the school staff.”

- Drivers for CCS’ Volunteer Transportation program in Snohomish County soon will begin assisting any Darrington-area resident needing a ride to a medical appointment. Because the slide closed Highway 530, the drive to Arlington is now about 80 miles. Under CCS’ contract with Snohomish County, the service (which reimburses volunteers for mileage) usually is available only to those who are 60 and over or disabled. That restriction has been lifted, Rice said. Although “tons” of gas cards have been donated to the community, Rice said, this service is needed for those who can’t drive or don’t have cars.

How to donate

Donations to Immaculate Conception Parish can be made through its website,, or by mail. Make checks payable to “Immaculate Conception (ICC)” and write “Funerals” or “Disaster Relief” in the memo area of the check. Mail checks to:

Immaculate Conception Church
P.O. Box 69
Arlington, WA 98223

Donations to CCS may be made through its website,, or by mail. Make checks payable to “Catholic Community Services” and note “Oso Mudslide” on the memo line. Mail checks to:

Catholic Community Services
Attn: Oso Mudslide
100 23rd Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98144-2312

For more information about the CCS fundraising campaign, call 800-499-5979, ext. 5707, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Updated April 15, 2014. This is an update of a previous story.