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United Methodist relief agency raises $570,000 in initial response

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Bishop Joel Martinez
Sept. 1, 2005

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Some $570,000 had been contributed by online donors to the Hurricane Katrina appeal of the United Methodist Committee on Relief as of late afternoon Sept. 1.

Roland Fernandes, treasurer of the agency, stressed that the figure only reflected online giving. He said it was too early to have a sense of the contributions being made by mail or telephone.

UMCOR is part of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Fernandes is general treasurer of the international organization and of UMCOR.

“In any natural disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina, the people who have the least are the ones who are most vulnerable and need the most help,” said Bishop Joel N. Martinez, president of the board.

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Sandra Lackore
“The mission calling of the General Board of Global Ministries is to reach out and especially to serve the least of God’s children,” Martinez said. “We pledge to make every effort to bring the resources and hope of the United Methodist connection to those suffering the effects of Hurricane Katrina.”

Every dollar that United Methodists give for the hurricane recovery will be used for that purpose, said Sandra Lackore, top staff executive of the General Council on Finance and Administration and treasurer for the church. She said none of the donations would be used for administrative costs, which come from other sources.

“The Internet has changed the way people can contribute,” Lackore said, noting the strong online giving response that the church received to the Dec. 26 tsunami. But, she added, that doesn’t take the place of giving to local church offerings, which is still a “powerful” way for people to respond.

United Methodists overseas were also responding to the disaster.

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Bishop Rosemarie Wenner
The United Methodist mission agency of Germany donated EUR5,000 to UMCOR hurricane relief areas.

“In the TV we see pictures of the damages; people in New Orleans and along the Gulf coast have to mourn while struggling against Hurricane Katrina,” said Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of the Frankfurt, Germany area in a letter to her colleagues affected by the storm.

“We pray for the victims and their families, for those who lost their houses and belongings and for all those who work hard to help the people in that area,” Wenner said.

Donations to support the United Methodist response to the Hurricane Katrina tragedy can be made online at and by phone at (800) 554-8583. Checks can be written to UMCOR, designated for “Hurricanes 2005 Global,” Advance No. 982523, and left in church offering plates or mailed directly to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068.

The relief agency also issued an emergency appeal Aug. 31 for health kits, water and blankets. Information is available at

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2005 Hurricane Response: United Methodist Committee on Relief

Video Interview with Sandra Lackore

“Hands-on efforts are needed.”

“The Internet has changed giving.”

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