UMCOR - Ways to Make a Difference

Date Posted: 3/9/2011


Alice Koech, a native of Tengecha, Kenya, knows all too well the struggle to obtain water. As a child, she would rise early in the morning to get water for her family before going to school.

Accessing safe water is a challenge for the 20,000 residents of Tengecha. Women and children travel at least three miles each day to fetch water from the Mara River, which is often contaminated because it is shared by roaming animals. Hear Alice tell the story of the Tengecha Community Water Project.


World Water Day is March 22. Observe this day by sharing this video, downloading the church bulletin Kenya: Accessing Clean Water,or presenting this World Water Day worship slide to your congregation.


Learn here how UMCOR helps vulnerable communities throughout Africa gain access to safe water. Consider a special offering to support UMCOR water projects through Global Water and Sanitation, UMCOR Advance #3020600. 



Naledi Xinwana, her three children—Matsie, Emmanuel, and Jacob—and their stepfather, Robert (not their real names), entered the US from South Africa with temporary Religious Worker (R1) visas.

Unbeknownst to their host community, Robert was a violent and manipulative man, who physically and psychologically abused Naledi and the children, and sexually abused Matsie. He confiscated their passports and kept them in the dark about their immigration status and how to maintain it.


When Robert was finally arrested, Naledi and the children sought advice from UMCOR’s Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) program. The JFON attorney advised them that if they assisted in Robert’s prosecution, they could file a U-Visa application, and later file to gain lawful permanent residency.


Read the full story in the March edition of JFON’s First Monday newsletter. Learn how JFON helped the family navigate the justice system and US Customs and Immigration Services to finally obtain their visas.


Your gift to Justice for Our Neighbors, UMCOR Advance #901285, supports this valuable program.



UMCOR, in partnership with the University of Minnesota, supports the Eco-Palm Project which sustains forestry, protects local jobs, and preserves the livelihoods of small-scale farmers by ensuring fair wages. United Methodists are encouraged to support this project and purchase Eco-palms for Palm Sunday.


The deadline to purchase Eco-Palms by check is March 29. Eco-Palms will be delivered between April 11 and April 14 (Palm Sunday is April 17). Place your order here, or visit for more information.


An Eco-Palms church bulletin and worship slide offer more information about the benefits of Eco-Palms. Your gift to UMCOR-SA&D, UMCOR Advance #982188, supports sustainable agriculture projects.



Spring is less than two weeks away—welcome news for most people who have plodded through this seemingly endless, snowy winter. In areas prone to flooding, as in the Dakotas and Minnesota, it also means the time is short to prepare for possible record inundation.


“We anticipate a lot of spring flooding due to all the snow this winter,” said Kathy Kraiza, director of UMCOR’s relief supply depots, as she issued a call for cleaning buckets and supplies. “We want to be prepared.”


Cleaning buckets provide the supplies that enable people affected by floods or hurricanes to begin the overwhelming task of cleaning up. Click here for assembly and shipping instructions. Cleaning buckets can be sent to any of the depots in the Relief Supply Network.

UMCOR’s US Disaster Response unit is actively working to help prepare the Minnesota Annual Conference, Dakotas Annual Conference, and ecumenical partners for emergencies that are likely to be brought on by spring floods.


“Our hope is that this collaborative approach will increase the capacity to respond as a region and therefore better serve those who will be impacted by this yearly flooding,” said Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR executive for US Disaster Response.


Your gift to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, supports these efforts.


Your gift to Material Resource Ministry, UMCOR Advance #901440, helps UMCOR purchase much needed relief supplies.


UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR’s ministries, please visit 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.


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.


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.