UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2008
  • December 30, 2008

The UMCOR Hotline

Matthew Scripture

2008 marked a year of firsts for UMCOR as we embarked in new directions to serve people in need throughout the world: those who are desperately poor, displaced, homeless, and struggling to survive after a major disaster.

What follows are some of the ways UMCOR has been able to live out the mandate of Matthew 25. UMCOR can respond to some of the world’s deepest needs because of your faithfulness in telling the UMCOR story and supporting our work.

In Today's Hotline:

*ZIMBABWE: A Compassionate and Comprehensive Response

*CÔTE D'IVOIRE: UMCOR Trains Hundreds in the Fight against Malaria

*CUBA: UMCOR Provides Hurricane Relief

*US: United Methodists Pull Together for Record-Breaking Flood Bucket Distribution

*GEORGIA: UMCOR Provides Relief to Conflict Survivors

*US: Justice for Our Neighbors Expands to 26 Clinics

*WORLDWIDE: Shining a Light on HIV/AIDS

*DRC: Free Medicine for the Democratic Republic of Congo


UMCOR is responding to the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe by providing clean water, food and medical attention. Working with ZOE Ministry, a North Carolina Annual Conference program, 100 metric tons of grain was delivered to 12 United Methodist districts in Zimbabwe – reaching more than 1,200 households and 11,000 primary school students in mid-December.

UMCOR is also providing additional support for United Methodist Hospitals in Zimbabwe. The hospitals remain open and staff continues to serve people in need, despite their own desperate circumstances. Cholera kits, sufficient to treat 2,600 people, will soon arrive at Nyadire and Mutambara United Methodist hospitals. UMCOR is also providing food, supplies, and fuel for hospital generators and is supporting staff salaries that have been affected due to the country's economic collapse. Give to Zimbabwe Emergency, UMCOR Advance #199456. Click the button to give now online


Nearly one million nets were distributed in Côte d’Ivoire this past November through a collaborative effort between The United Methodist Church of Côte d'Ivoire, The Texas Annual Conference, The United Nations Foundation, United Methodist Communications and UMCOR during a national integrated health campaign. This is the largest net distribution in the country’s history.

Through its Malaria Control program, UMCOR trained more than 800 Ivorian volunteers from local United Methodist Churches so that malaria education could accompany the nets. Telling others about the causes, preventative measures and treatments for malaria is “loving your neighbor as yourself,” says Naomi, a volunteer trained by UMCOR. The volunteers spent a week in the hot sun with other volunteers from the Texas Annual Conference, handing out nets and creating a greater understanding about malaria. Give to Malaria Control, UMCOR Advance #982009. Online Giving


Days after a third hurricane pummeled Cuba in as many months, UMCOR gained US Government permission to provide assistance to people in dire need there. The license to work in Cuba in 2008 and 2009 was an answer to prayer for many as previous efforts to obtain a license have been unsuccessful.

The license allowing UMCOR to provide humanitarian aid in Cuba expires October 28, 2009. While most of the focus will be to provide immediate relief, UMCOR will work closely with the churches in Cuba to help them prepare for long term recovery as well as provide training for disaster preparedness.

Support the work in DRC and help UMCOR reach those left vulnerable by the intense fighting. Give to Cuba Emergency, UMCOR Advance #3020821. Online Giving


More than 20,000 flood buckets reached flood and hurricane survivors this year. In 2007 UMCOR Sager Brown shipped 4,007 buckets. The marked increase was due to the severe floods in the Midwest and damage caused by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

United Methodists all over the US pulled together to keep the supply of flood buckets coming to meet this incredible need. Both assembled buckets and funds to purchase bucket contents allowed this special ministry to reach tens of thousands of people recovering from some of life’s harshest storms. Give to Material Resource Ministry, UMCOR Advance #901440. Online Giving


The UMCOR office in Tbilisi, Georgia, took a lead role in responding to the needs of conflict survivors when violence broke out in South Ossetia last August. Because of UMCOR’s long history in the country, UMCOR was asked to assist in the organization and distribution of medical supply shipments from the US.

UMCOR also provided food assistance and health kits to displaced people as well as assistance to local hospitals by distributing needed medical supplies housed in UMCOR’s Tbilisi warehouse. Give to Georgia Emergency, UMCOR Advance #250305. Online Giving


Justice for Our Neighbors (JFON) experienced incredible growth in 2008, adding five immigration legal clinics and five lawyers. With a total of 12 attorneys and 26 clinics in 11 annual conferences, this ministry of hospitality will be able to assist more people than ever before with their legal needs.

JFON connects a national network of church-based, volunteer-led immigration clinics to asylum seekers and immigrants who need a helping hand to navigate the maze of rules and laws that affect their lives in the United States. This work represents the response of the United Methodist Church and its local congregations to the needs of immigrants seeking to reunify their families, secure immigration status, and enjoy the right to work. Give to Justice for Our Neighbors, UMCOR Advance #901285. Online Giving


In the last four years, the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund has raised $1.8 million and has awarded grants to nearly 70 HIV/AIDS projects in more than 20 countries. In 2008, more than $250,000 of the funds went to support projects both nationally and abroad.

Grants support programs like the Friends Unit at Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone. The Friends Unit works to combat the health threat, social stigma, and spread of HIV/AIDS. Since it opened in 2001, the Friends Unit has since served more than 1,300 patients living with HIV/AIDS through HIV testing, counseling, home-based care, antiretroviral medicines, and livelihood programs for HIV/AIDS patients and their families. Give to United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, UMCOR Advance # 982345. Online Giving


The medical supply storage areas of several hospitals in the Democratic Republic of Congo are now better stocked, thanks to the collaborative effort of several diverse organizations, including UMCOR, which served as the delivery agency. Medicines worth $14 million were delivered via airlift to Kinshasa in February 2008, and are aiding hundreds of people in need.

Collaborators in the medical airlift were St. Paul’s School of Theology, Kansas City, Mo.; The United Methodist Church of North Katanga; US Department of Defense; Islamic Relief USA; UMCOR; and Interchurch Medical Assistance. Give to DRC Emergency, UMCOR Advance #198400. Online Giving

A Word of Thanks

Thank you for being our partners as we seek to Be There and Be Hope for people in need of a healing touch and a helping hand.

May the joy and expectation of this Christmas season be with you throughout the New Year.

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 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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