Special to The Hays Daily News

SALINA -- Catholic Charities of Salina is among the relief agencies working to assist the victims of Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti.

The local agency, part of the Catholic Diocese of Salina, will accept cash donations, which will be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services or other Catholic relief agencies assisting in Haiti.

Money is the most critical need at this point, said Karen Hauser, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities in Salina.

Compounding the disaster is the fact that Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world.

"It's a country that just doesn't have the capacity to recover on its own. It needs the assistance of the rest of the world," said Hauser, who traveled to Haiti in 2007 as a Catholic Charities director to witness the work of Catholic Relief Services.

"The people are some of the poorest of the poor, so there really is a need," she said.

Donations can be sent to Catholic Charities at P.O. Box 1366, Salina, KS 67402-1366. The check's memo line should include the phrase "Haiti relief."

Catholics across the Salina Diocese will be asked to help at this weekend's Masses. They will take part in a special collection to be taken up in Catholic parishes nationwide to support Catholic Relief Services' efforts in Haiti.

In addition, donors can give directly to CRS, the U.S. Catholic bishops' international relief and development agency, by phone at (800) 736-3467; online at www.crs.org; or by mail to CRS, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090.