Caritas Iceland is one of the many ways that Catholics and the Catholic Church serve the poor in Iceland. Those in need who ask assistance from the Church can be referred to Caritas. We try to meet with everyone who approaches us, to be a face of care for them. This also helps us to see what it is that they really need and then to try to help them. Most often the needs are for food and shelter, either short- or long-term, but some people need jobs or help getting back to their home countries; others need assistance dealing with various social and legal services; emergency needs also arise from time to time.
Each year, the collection from all of the parishes on the 1st Sunday of Advent is donated to Caritas Iceland. Our organization is run completely by volunteers, so every krona that is collected through the generosity of Catholics in Iceland is given to those in need.
In February a man came to Iceland in hopes of finding a better job to provide for his family. Unfortunately, COVID-19 arrived the week after he did, so despite our help, he wasn’t able to obtain a job, though we were able to help him find housing. Things became very tense when his 3-month visa was finished and the return flight we had helped him arrange was cancelled. Eventually, we located a replacement flight and helped to cover the additional costs. He still writes occasionally to say hello and to let us know how he and his family are doing.
As was mentioned earlier, the money collected on the First Sunday of Advent (Nov 28/29) is used to support the 2021 work of Caritas. If you are unable to attend Mass that day, please consider doing a bank transfer directly to the Caritas Iceland account: kt. 591289-1369, bank number 0513-14-403378.
Thank you for helping needy individuals in Iceland through your contributions and PRAYERS!
Caritas Iceland was founded in 1989 to help the poor and less fortunate and those who have suffered injustice. Caritas Iceland became a member of Caritas Internationalis in 1991 and has no paid staff as it relies heavily on the strength of its volunteers to carry out its activities.
The primary objectives of Caritas Iceland are two fundraising events during the year, one in Advent and one in Lent. The funds raised during Advent are used to support the sick and people with physical and learning difficulties, the elderly, as well as socially disadvantaged children. The funds raised during Lent support projects in poor countries in Africa, Asia and South America, in cooperation with Caritas Denmark.
Caritas Iceland main office in Reykjavik has a staff of 10 volunteers. As a member of Caritas Internationalis and Europa, the agency collaborates with the global Caritas network to develop and implement its programs.