The UMCOR Hotline
July 11, 2006
In Today's Hotline:
UMCOR has provided $180,000 in emergency grants to several annual conferences affected by recent severe flooding as well as flooding in May of this year. Receiving grants were New Jersey, Eastern and Central Pennsylvania, New York, Wyoming and New England.
You can help in three ways. Give: your generous gifts to UMCOR Advance #901670 will support additional recovery actions in the affected areas. Send: UMCOR has distributed some 1,100 flood buckets and needs to replenish our supplies. Go: Call the volunteer hotline at 1-800-918-3100 to find out where you can serve.
In a precedent-setting case UMCOR attorney TJ Mills argued that a client born in Guyana-jailed for more than a year-was not an illegal immigrant but a US citizen who must be released from prison. In a rare ruling, the judge for the Board of Immigration Appeals agreed, overturning an older decision. The board is the highest immigration court. "It's a real important case because some people who have been deported to Guyana now may return to the US as full citizens," said Attorney Mills. You can help immigrants retain their rights through UMCOR's ministry in partnership with annual conferences, Justice for Our Neighbors. Please give generously to UMCOR Advance #901285, JFON.
Armenian border guards trained by UMCOR are helping to identify women and children caught in the net of human trafficking. Recently the guards called UMCOR about Anna, who had fled her captors and was trying to return to Armenia without proper documents after being forced into prostitution abroad. Anna and her son stayed at a rehabilitation center operated by UMCOR while she received medical attention, psychological counseling, a small stipend to restart her life, assistance with employment opportunities and vocational skills training. Speaking for Anna and others is Lusine, another survivor, who wrote of her cruel treatment at the hands of traffickers, "Now everything I will decide myself. Don't think you have ruined everything. I will prove that I am independent from you." You can offer hands and heart against human trafficking through your gifts to UMCOR Advance #250225, Armenia Emergency.
Questions on bird flu? UMCOR is launching a new resource today on our web site. Although bird (avian) flu is currently limited to fowl and is only occasionally transmitted to those in close contact with infected birds, there remains a risk that this virus will change so that it can spread between people. If this happens the world may have a flu pandemic. UMCOR wants you to have the information you need to be prepared and to respond appropriately. Churches are in a special position to be a positive force in response to a bird flu pandemic. You can help by knowing your facts, what you need to do to prepare, and where to find good information. Whether you're a church member, pastor, or a layperson simply wanting to be more informed, these web pages will help you distinguish fact from myth, identify concrete steps. UMCOR's Azerbaijan office has developed educational materials on bird flu. UMCOR workers distribute these through UMCOR's Refugee Health Clinic. The clinic serves over 4,000 refugees and asylum seekers living in the capital city of Baku and surrounding districts. In the US our disaster response team participates in frequent updates from the Center for Disease Control, and we will post new information as it becomes available. We hope you'll visit online soon. [ visit now ]
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.
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