The Diocese of Des Moines is asking all of its parishes to hold a special collection this weekend or any weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas to help with relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. Funds will be used to support Catholic Relief Services for immediate response to emergency needs as food, water, shelter and medical care. Funds will also be given to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to forward to the Church in the Philippines for long-term needs to rebuild after the widespread destruction. Please send all funds to the Diocse of Des Moines, which will expedite the distribution to the agencies providing aid. You can give online, in your parish's special collection, or by sending a check to the Diocese of Des Moines at 601 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50309. Please note on checks that the funds are for the Philippines. "This tragedy occurs as we Americans prepare for Thanksgiving," said Bishop Richard Pates. "May we, who have been recipients of abundant blessings, be agents of God in sharing our blessings with those in critical need in the Philippines by generously supporting this special collection."