UMCOR - Ways You Can Make A Difference
UMCOR staff editor and senior writer, Linda Unger, recently visited a remote, barely accessible area of the Philippines where the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Global Ministries are working with indigenous Dumagat people in a Ministry with the Poor program.
For more than a year, Angie Brancano, director of the Harris Memorial College program that is UMCOR and Global Ministries’ local partner, has worked with the Dumagats to confront their isolation by creating sustainable communal and backyard farms, providing alternative learning classes, and establishing pure water sources, sanitation, and healthy living.
“This visit showed me that to be in ministry with the poor is to serve people who live in inconvenient places; who are ignored by most government and NGO services; who are shunned as different or inscrutable; whose traditional way of life is so challenged by contemporary values (especially the predominance of individual security over the common good) that they literally find themselves between a rock and a hard place with regard to livelihood, education, and health care, the basic elements of a successful life,” writes Unger in the UMCOR blog.
“The Dumagats, like other communities living in poverty, are not without resources,” she says. “The Ministry with the Poor program aims to help them tap those resources and, ultimately, to build a just and even road to fullness of life and opportunity.”
Help support the ongoing work of this program by giving to Comprehensive Community Development Project for Dumagat Communities, Advance #3021302.
UMCOR is partnering with Global Medic to provide assistance to the people in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, which was heavily affected by last March’s tsunami. While much of the rubble has been removed and the area has begun to rebuild, many have lost their livelihoods and are unable to provide for their families.
UMCOR grants are helping survivors to regain economic independence. Global Medic is working with local partner, HOPE-Japan, to support local fisheries and provide shelters for local businesses to warehouse supplies.
When you give to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450 you support UMCOR’s response to disasters such as the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Even with a firm disaster response plan and well-trained personnel in the North Alabama Annual Conference, no one could anticipate the enormous response that would be required when 62 tornadoes struck the state on April 27, 2011. Volunteers held the key to the task ahead. From the first moments after each storm, United Methodists were in action. During the first few weeks, more than 70 early response teams from both in and out of state immediately responded to the needs of Alabamians with damaged or destroyed homes.
Six months later, North Alabama continues to host hundreds of volunteers committed to rebuilding the area. Approximately 800 volunteers have already visited the state with the North Alabama Conference Disaster Recovery Team to help rebuild.
Homeowners continually comment that volunteers and their service are answers to prayer. Many homeowners could never have made the repairs to their homes due to costs or physical incapability. Read more.
Recovery continues! Support UMCOR’s efforts to help Alabama and other communities rebuild after disaster by giving to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670. Also, consider volunteering your time to help with recovery.
Last week, volunteers from Western Pennsylvania and Iowa filled the UMCOR Sager Brown depot floor. The volunteers arrived ready to work hard and assemble much-needed relief supplies that would travel the world and into communities the volunteers may never get to visit.
Marv Chickering from Iowa Annual Conference loves being a volunteer at the depot. This year marks the tenth year that he and his wife are lending their hands to assemble school kits or sew school bags, which currently are in short supply at Sager Brown.
“Being a volunteer in mission is very near and dear to our hearts,” says Chickering. “When you leave here you, know you’ve received much more than you have ever given. It’s a joy to be able to help people, and when you see people in need, you appreciate more what you have,” he says.
Lend your support to help the depot replenish its supply of school kits. You can view school kit contents here, or give toward the purchase of these items by giving to Material Resources, UMCOR Advance #901440. The cost of one school kit is about $11.00.
UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR’s ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the “Give Now” links. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors. And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.