ROTA, Spain (NNS) -- Naval Station Rota's chapel community donated more than $20,000 to Hurricane Katrina victims during the month of September through their Sunday offerings.
After the hurricane hit New Orleans Aug. 29, a message came to the chapel from the Chief of Chaplains, Rear Adm. Lewis Iasello, in Washington, D.C. It stated that they had set up a special fund in cooperation with the Navy/Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS), and asked every Navy and Marine Corps facility worldwide to designate September's Sunday offerings to it. The purpose of this fund was to help care for military members and their families who were suffering the effects of Katrina.
According to Chaplain (Capt.) James Joslyn, the chapel sent an immediate check for $5,000 through a combination of funds from the Catholic and Protestant religious offering funds. Additionally, $15,849.61 was collected during the month through the Sunday offerings. The total sent added up to $20,849.61.
"It's always gratifying to see how our military members and civilians always come through when there's a crisis," Joslyn said. "We might come from very different backgrounds, but all the congregations here cooperate so well together, especially in times of need," he said.
The offerings collected through the chapel are usually donated to different charitable organizations, according to Joslyn.
"The Religious Offering Fund is money that cannot be used to fund anything we need," he said. "That should come out of appropriated funds."
The Chapel donates to organizations in the States, as well as locally. For example, the Chapel donated to La Cartuja and other food and shelter centers here in Spain.
"We try to balance between sending it back to the States or using it for local needs here," Joslyn said.
"The people here are generous to begin with," Joslyn said. "I'd definitely like to thank all those people who stepped up to the plate to help our military family."
As of the week of Sept. 18-24, according to Joslyn, NMCRS had collected $8 million for the Katrina fund. Of that, $1.6 million has already been distributed to Katrina victims.
For related news, visit the Naval Station Rota, Spain Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/rota/.
For the latest Navy news on hurricane relief efforts, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/hurricane/.