UMCOR Updates: Ways You Can Help

Date Posted: 10/26/2011


Since a catastrophic 7.2-magnitude earthquake rocked eastern Turkey on Sunday, October 23, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has been in conversation with partner International Blue Crescent (IBC), seeking to get emergency supplies to survivors.

At least 270 people were known to have died in the earthquake, whose epicenter was in the town of Ercis. Some 1,300 people were injured in the quake and the 200 aftershocks that rattled the area through Sunday night. Many people remain missing.

IBC reported heavy damages and destruction in Ercis and the city of Van, as well as in dozens of surrounding villages. In Van, the IBC report says, a hotel, the university hospital, and two dormitories were among the multi-story buildings that collapsed. Read more.

IBC noted that there is ongoing need for emergency supplies and for the eventual reconstruction of homes, health facilities, and schools.

Your gift to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450, will help UMCOR efforts by our partners in Turkey.


Families in Ahuachapán department are still coping with the devastating effects of recent flooding in El Salvador. At least 14,000 homes and 1,000 wells were destroyed when Hurricane Jova and Tropical Depression 12-E barreled through Central America the week of October 9.

A total of 81 people across the region died in the flooding and mudslides, 32 of them in El Salvador. Some 32,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes.

UMCOR is working with the Evangelical Methodist Church of El Salvador to provide relief to survivors in the form of food, blankets, and medical care. Your gift to Central America Emergency, UMCOR Advance #501300, provides relief to those in urgent need.


More than five million Pakistanis are in urgent need of safe drinking water, sanitation services, food, shelter materials, and other essential support, according to the United Nations, after massive flooding poured through the country for the second year in a row.

By some accounts the severe flooding, especially in Sindh province, is even worse than that which affected large swaths of the country last year, and has added some 2.5 million people to the rolls of struggling survivors.

UMCOR is responding to the needs of flood survivors through partner Church World Service. UMCOR is also in contact with GlobalMedic to discern and respond to needs for clean drinking water, hygiene, and sanitation.

Your support is urgently needed. Please give to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450, and earmark your check “Pakistan Floods.”


During the months of August and September, the UMCOR Relief-Supply Network shipped out nearly 238,000 relief kits to people in need across the United States and the world.

Among those kits were thousands of cleaning buckets shipped to communities in North Carolina, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire in response to fierce storms in the late summer that caused unprecedented flooding in those areas. Read more in the Relief-Supply Network Newsletter.

“Our material resource ministry is extremely important,” said the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR executive for US Disaster Response.

“It provides people who sit in the pew an opportunity to use their hands in a tangible way to respond to disasters and help individuals all over the world when they cannot personally go and volunteer,” he went on. “They are still the hands of Christ that have put the kit together.”

Your gift to Material Resource Ministry, UMCOR Advance #901440, supports this important work.


By age 18, Ratnamala, born into a poor family in rural India, already had endured a forced marriage, experienced the birth and death of a child, and become a widow.

Her husband had contracted HIV and died of AIDS. Ratnamala’s doctors urged her to be tested and to have her newborn tested, too. The tests showed that both had the virus.

Ratnamala’s family was driven by fear and the stigma of HIV to isolate Ratnamala and the baby. She found work on a farm, but came home one day to find her child dead of complications of HIV. Distraught and suffering, too, from the illness, Ratnamala was brought to Jamkhed Hospital.

At Jamkhed, she learned more than the importance of taking her HIV cocktail of medications; she learned the meaning of compassion. After her positive response to treatment, she stayed on at Jamkhed to help women who, like she, had faced so many trials and rejection.

Read the full story in UMCOR Notebook. Your gift to UM Global AIDS Fund, Advance #982345, supports those who are finding hope through compassion in the midst of catastrophic illness due to HIV and AIDS.


More than 13 million people in the Horn of Africa struggle to survive amid severe drought and other debilitating factors, 4.8 million of them in Ethiopia. In addition to the desperate situation of the local population, thousands of refugees from similarly afflicted neighbor countries are seeking help there.

Some 120,000 Somalis have crossed the border to Ethiopia and are living in crowded, under-resourced refugee camps in the community of Dollo Odo. Bokolomayo, one of four refugee camps there, has 38,000 inhabitants—and expecting more.

UMCOR is working with partner International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) to provide the refugees in Bokolomayo Camp with food, latrines, water, and education facilities.

UMCOR is also working around the region to provide relief with partners International Blue Crescent, Muslim Aid, Church World Service, ACT Alliance, and GlobalMedic.

So much needs to be done. Your gift to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450 will help meet urgent needs. Please earmark your check “Horn of Africa Crisis.” 

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. You can also give online by clicking any of the links above. 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.