Sept. 17, 2004
By Linda Green*
(UMNS)-A new Web link enables people to support United Methodist
hurricane relief by making financial contributions online.
|A UMNS photo courtesy of Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR
United Methodist volunteers unload a truck of food near Punta Gorda, Fla.
Methodist Communications has created www.UnitedMethodistRelief.org to
direct donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The new
Web feature allows financial contributions to be made safely and
has already made it possible to receive donations by telephone to
support the Advance, and this Web link is an extension of that ability
by taking the response online," said the Rev. Larry Hollon, top
executive at United Methodist Communications. The Advance for Christ and
His Church is a United Methodist giving program that supports relief
efforts and other ministries worldwide.
light of the urgent human need that results from these hurricanes, we
are providing a link which enables people to contribute to UMCOR
hurricane relief online in a manner that is identical to the methods
that they can use by making a telephone call," he said. "It’s an
incredible opportunity for the church to make it possible for people to
provide humanitarian assistance to victims of the hurricane."
Methodist Communications manages the denomination’s Web ministry by
hosting the church’s official site at UMC.org. The hurricane relief link
informs people that the church is actively ministering to human need,
of money are critical to ensure UMCOR’s continued readiness as more
hurricanes threaten, according to the relief agency’s Web site.
new Web address is being promoted through Google.com, the online search
engine, so finding the hurricane relief link is easy for anyone wanting
to provide aid. The Google relationship will enable the church to reach
new audiences outside the denomination. The link can be found by typing
in keywords such as "hurricane," "United Methodists," "hurricane
relief" and "Ivan." The visitor is taken to a page that explains what
the church is doing in hurricane relief. The link also includes
information on how to make a financial contribution or participate as a
made it as easy as possible to support the ministry of the church,"
Hollon said. "We are pleased that people are seeing the link and are
making use of it."
can support the relief work at a variety of levels. A donation of $5
provides a blanket to a flood victim; $45 supports a bucket of cleanup
supplies; $100 pays for counseling to a family that lost all of its
possessions; and $500 will help buy rebuilding materials for an
"We are enabling people to provide gifts of hope," Hollon said.
to the United Methodist Committee on Relief hotline, officials have
begun initial damage assessments in Mobile, Ala., which was hit hard by
Hurricane Ivan Sept. 16. The storm cut a 300-mile track across the
Alabama-West Florida Annual (regional) Conference, and UMCOR will assist
in cleanup and recovery as soon as the damage assessment is completed.
addition, the agency is helping in Florida, which was ravaged by
Hurricanes Charley and Frances, and weighing options for a response in
Puerto Rico, which was hit by Tropical Storm Jeanne.
online contributions, people can make donations in traditional ways.
Checks should be written to UMCOR and earmarked for "Hurricanes 2004,"
UMCOR Advance No. 982410. Checks can be placed in church offering plates
or mailed directly to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Dr., Room 330, New York,
N.Y. 10115. Credit-card donations can be made by calling, toll free,
The agency continues to call for donations of cleaning supplies. Specifications can be found at http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor online at the "UMCOR Kits" link.
*Green is a United Methodist News Service news writer in Nashville, Tenn.
News media contact: Linda Green, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.