|United Methodist giving tops $1 million for Haiti |
U.N. staff members treat a survivor of
Photos courtesy of UN/Logan Abassi.
A UMNS Report
By Linda Bloom*
UPDATED 6:40 PM EST | Jan. 16, 2010
United Methodists have raised more than $1 million for relief work in
The donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief will support
its efforts to respond to those most in need following the devastating
Jan. 12 earthquake. An estimated 2 million to 3 million people need
In a statement, Bishop Joel Martinez of the United Methodist Board of
Global Ministries, UMCOR’s parent agency, said he was thankful “for the
overwhelming generosity,” but encouraged further gifts.
"This is heartening but needs to be multiplied many times over,” he
said. “We believe that contributions to UMCOR at worship on Sunday (Jan.
17) will be a powerful testament to the love of United Methodists for
those in crisis."
UMCOR staff was expected to arrive in the Dominican Republic sometime
over the weekend. The agency’s emergency response efforts will be
coordinated with a variety of partners, including Church World Service,
Action by Churches Together, Global Medic, Muslim Aid and the Methodist
Church of Haiti.
The Rev. Lloyd Rollins, a United Methodist pastor and former UMCOR
executive who now works for the Washington-based International Relief
and Development, was hoping to be in Haiti by Jan. 16.
He is part of a three-person team from his agency that will expand to
about a dozen team members over the next two to three weeks.“We’re going
in to participate in the early assessment, particularly with USAID and
the U.N. organizations,” Rollins said while awaiting a flight to the
Dominican Republic at the Miami airport on Jan. 15. “We will be offering
assistance to partner agencies in the relief stage, mostly in-kind
donations. Then, we’ll move into the longer-term issues.”
Church World Service had two staff members arriving in Haiti, according
to the Rev. John McCullough, a United Methodist who serves as its top
executive. The agency has sent funds to local partners in Haiti. Another
partner agency in the Dominican Republic is sending kits and blankets
to Haiti from its warehouse in Santo Domingo, and will assist with
getting other aid into Haiti.
Donations to UMCOR will support
those in need following the earthquake.
Stop Hunger Now, the Raleigh, N.C.-based food organization, has become a
focal point for gathering resources for Haiti, says the Rev. Ray
Buchanan. “We’ve got a 747 (jet) full of aid to go out on Sunday,” he
Buchanan, a United Methodist pastor, said Stop Hunger Now had shipped a
million and a half packaged meals to Haiti in the last two months. Their
three local partners in that endeavor “have been using our meals
already to feed earthquake victims.”
United Methodists in Virginia are setting up “packaging events” to
stockpile more meals, he reported, and the denomination’s Mississippi
Conference is arranging for every district to hold packaging events
throughout 2010 for Haiti relief.
“The church is responding in a wonderful way, showing initiative to make
sure something happens,” Buchanan said.
Although it is too early to send volunteer teams, UMCOR is
encouraging church members to collect health kits for distribution in
UMCOR Sager Brown is coordinating a shipment of health kits to provide
individuals with basic necessities. Instructions for assembling and
shipping health kits are available here.
Gifts to support UMCOR's Haiti Relief efforts can be made to Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325. Checks can
be made to UMCOR with "Advance #418325 Haiti Emergency" in the memo
line. Checks can be put in the church's offering plate or mailed to:
UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. The entire amount of each gift
will be used to help the people of Haiti.
*Bloom is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in New
News media contact: Linda Bloom, New York, (646) 369-3759 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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