UMCOR Responds to the Earthquake in Haiti
Contact: Melissa Hinnen, UMCOR Communications
January 13, 2010 -- A major earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti yesterday, causing widespread destruction. Millions of people are affected and thousands are feared dead. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has close ties with the Methodist Church in Haiti and is responding to the devastating earthquake with funding, material resources and prayers.
UMCOR executive, Melissa Crutchfield says, “We are working with our partners on the ground to provide immediate relief to the people in Haiti. UMCOR has worked in Haiti for many years. We anticipate that there will be years of rebuilding needed and are prepared to work with the people to help them through that process.”
Working with partners, Action by Churches Together, Church World Service, Global Medic and the Methodist Church, UMCOR is channeling its resources to respond effectively to the people most in need.
In a statement to Global Ministries staff, the General Secretary said, “Events such as these can challenge both our faith and sense of security. As a church we know that the heart of our ministry is continuing and extending Jesus Christ’s ministry of outreaching love.”
Staff and Volunteers in Haiti
Volunteers from at least six different United Methodist annual (regional) conferences are in Haiti on mission trips. An email from two Kansas East volunteers reports they are safe in the guest house and, “We have a bunch of refugees in the front had have been giving first aid to those who were hurt, but we cannot get them anywhere at this time. There will be many deaths but it happened right before dark so rescue efforts are hampered. Some phone service and no police or UN radios working.”
Volunteers in Mission (VIM) executive, Clint Rabb, consultant, Jim Gulley and Sam Dixon, the top executive for UMCOR are in Haiti. Says UMCOR executive, Tom Hazelwood, “We have conflicting reports that say they were in a car on the way to the airport and another that they were in the Montana Hotel. We don’t have any absolute confirmation at this time and have not heard from them, but will be sure to communicate any news. Please continue praying.”
How to Help
There will be a great need for volunteers to help rebuild once the initial crisis has settled. At this time, it is not safe or possible for volunteers to go to Haiti. In order to frame a response that is consistent with the churches’ needs, people wishing to volunteer should contact their jurisdictional VIM coordinator to determine when and how to appropriately respond.
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 http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/umcor/donate.cfm?code=418325&id=3018760 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. 100% of gifts made to this advance will go to help the people of Haiti.
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 at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor/getconnected/supplies/health-kit/ .
Please pray for all of the people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. Thank you for your faithful support for all of God’s children.