Giving to UMCOR tsunami relief exceeds $4 million



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service
      
 

Giving to UMCOR tsunami relief exceeds $4 million

Jan. 21, 2005    News media contact:  Michael Wacht*    
407-897-1140   
mwacht@flumc.org     Orlando  {0232}

An e-Review Feature
By Elliott Wright**

GALLE, Sri Lanka — Two girls care for their sleeping younger sister in the Sri Gnangbhasa Yogasramaya Buddhist temple here. Religious groups on the island nation are cooperating to meet the emergency needs of the 900,000 people whose homes were destroyed. A UMNS photo by Paul Jeffrey, ACT International, Photo #05-0140.

NEW YORK (UMNS) — Contributions to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for Asian tsunami relief passed the $4 million mark during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.

"We are still opening checks," said Roland Fernandes, treasurer of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the parent organization of UMCOR.

The death toll from the tidal waves that swept the Indian Ocean the day after Christmas reached 220,000 on Jan. 19.

"The outpouring of love and concern in the form of dollars is deeply touching," said the Rev. R. Randy Day, chief executive of the mission board. Two days earlier, he had returned from Indonesia, the hardest hit of the 12 countries swept by the gigantic waves.

Contributions included in the $4 million figure are primarily from telephone and online credit-card donations and checks sent directly to UMCOR.

Fernandes said this included some, but by no means all, of the money given through local church collections and forwarded through denominational channels. He noted a significant slowdown in online contributions in recent days. "This is quite natural as we move away from the immediate emotional impact of the tragedy," he said.

Day and a delegation of United Methodist mission and communications leaders visited the island of Sumatra, near the epicenter of the earthquake that caused the tsunamis, Jan. 11-16. The group took more than 100,000 doses of medicine for tsunami survivors.

UMCOR is engaged in both immediate and long-term relief and rehabilitation in the affected area. Its work is coordinated with that of other Methodist and humanitarian agencies, and it puts a high priority on collaboration with local efforts and personnel.

Donations to UMCOR's "South Asia Emergency" relief efforts can be placed in local church offering plates or sent directly to UMCOR, 475 Riverside Drive, Room 330, New York, NY 10115. Designate checks for UMCOR Advance #274305 and "South Asia Emergency." Online donations can be made at http://www.methodistrelief.org. Those making credit-card donations can call 800-554-8583.

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This article relates to Disaster Relief.

*Wacht is director of Florida United Methodist Communications and managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Wright is the information officer of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.




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