Holston churches give $533,112 and thousands of health kits to UMCOR after Jan.12 earthquake
United Methodists jumped into action as soon as a massive earthquake reduced most of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince to rubble on Jan. 12.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) immediately pledged to send teams, material resources and funding to Haiti. Special online-giving options went up, and church leaders throughout the world encouraged congregations to take up special offerings for earthquake victims.
In Holston Conference, churches received quick information about bulletin inserts, UMCOR donations, "health kit" collections, worship resources, and other news through Holston.org, The Call2 e-news, and The Call on Facebook. Congregations not only responded, they invited their communities to join the effort, while heeding requests to wait patiently and follow procedures before organizing volunteer teams to Haiti.
By Feb. 8, Holston congregations had given a staggering $533,112 to UMCOR. They also stuffed thousands of plastic bags with shampoo, washclothes, toothbrushes, and soap – which on Feb. 8 were being loaded by Holston workers for transport to UMCOR's Louisiana depot. (See page 8 for reports of church offerings and activities.)
Holston is always turned toward those in need," said Bishop James Swanson. "When you clearly show the need, the people always come forward.
"I am tremendously grateful for the outpouring of generosity and support shown for the people who are in pain in Haiti," Swanson said.
Church leaders urge United Methodists to continue to pray and to give to UMCOR. Write checks to your local church with the Advance number "#418325" on the memo line. You may also donate directly to UMCOR online at www.umcorhaiti.org. (Church treasurers only: Send your church payments to Haiti faster by using this address: http://makepayments.holston.org.)
Medical specialists are the first category of volunteers needed in Haiti, according the General Board of Global Ministries. However, persons who hope to participate on future volunteer teams should contact Melissa Smith, Holston Volunters-in-Mission coordinator, for information about required insurance and training. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For ongoing, complete coverage of United Methodist efforts to help Haiti, visit UMC.org. For the latest on Holston's response, read The Call2 e-news or become a fan of The Call on Facebook. Sign up for a free subscription for The Call2 at www.thecalltwo.holston.org.
For other info, call the conference office toll-free (866) 690-4080 or e-mail email@example.com.