UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2008
  • April 29, 2008

The UMCOR Hotline

In Today's Hotline:

*US: Tornadoes Tear Through Virginia

*SIERRE LEONE: Restoring Health

*UMCOR: Join UMCOR’s 100-Ton Challenge

*DRC: A First of Special Deliveries

*RESOURCES: World Fair Trade Day—New Church Bulletin


Three tornadoes ripped up parts of central and southeastern Virginia on Monday afternoon. More than 200 people are estimated to be injured in the twisters.

UMCOR is working with the Virginia Annual Conference to assess and respond to the destruction there. UMCOR is in contact with Bishop Charlene Kammerer to offer financial and personnel support in response to this disaster.

Gifts to Domestic Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, will support UMCOR’s response to this and other disasters in the United States. Click the button to give now online


Child malnutrition is a major health concern in Sierre Leone. But a homemade remedy called “benny mix” is offering hope. The benny mix is restoring the health of several malnourished children in just three short months.

Kadiatu Sesay, a nurse and certified nutritionist in the nutrition unit of Kissy United Methodist Hospital in Freetown, developed the protein-filled supplement that is helping to save lives. Benny mix contains eight locally-available ingredients such as palm oil, nuts, fish, salt, beans and more— meeting the required nutritional needs of the severely malnourished children under her care. While the children get healthier and stronger, Sesay teaches the parents how to make benny mix to meet their child’s needs.

A simple food mix is reversing a large problem in Sierre Leone and is helping to restore health to many who are ill. You can support the nutrition program at Kissy United Methodist Hospital with your gifts to UMCOR Advance #982168, Hospital Revitalization. Click the button to give now online


Beginning World Fair Trade Day, May 10, United Methodists are encouraged to help farmers earn fair prices for their crops by participating in UMCOR’s 100-Ton Challenge. The 12-month campaign which ends next year on May 9, 2009, encourages United Methodists to help increase the amount of fairly-traded coffee, tea, chocolate and snacks purchased through The UMCOR Coffee Project and its partner Equal Exchange, a 100 percent fair trade, worker-owned co-operative.

The goal of the 100-Ton Challenge is to increase awareness about fair trade in United Methodist churches everywhere and leverage fairly-traded products to help promote better lives for farmers in Latin America, Africa, Asia and the United States. Consumers of fairly-traded coffee, tea and chocolate, help farmers stay on their land, care for the environment, and support their families.

Visit UMCOR’s 100-Ton Challenge web page for more information and for available resources. Help spread the word about fair trade. You can also help small-scale farmers though your gifts to Sustainable Agriculture and Development, UMCOR Advance #982188. Online Giving


Dr. Rebecca Yohani of Mpasa United Methodist Medical and Nutrition Center located outside of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, has been purchasing medicines from her own pocket to help supply the medical needs of the Mpasa community. UMCOR helped lift her burden as the first of 11 distributions of medicines and supplies arrived at Mpasa last month. Serving a community of 22,500 people who live in extreme poverty—the boxes of antibiotics, analgesics and anti-malarial drugs were the first medicines they have seen in over a year.

The medicine distribution is the result of the efforts of Dr. Pamela Couture, vice president and dean at Saint Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Mo. She grew close to the area while doing her research and wanted to offer a gift. Her request led to a donation of $14 million in medicines given by Islamic Relief USA for the people of the Congo. UMCOR is facilitating the distribution efforts.

"This donation is a big relief for the low income inhabitants of Mpasa community," said Dr. Yohandi. Future shipments are planned to include functional beds, mattresses and more. Click here to read the full story and support ongoing projects like these with your gifts to Democratic Republic of Congo Emergency, UMCOR Advance #198400.Online Giving


Jose Luis Castillo Vasquez, a farmer of the APECAFE Cooperative in El Salvador, has been able to keep his land, feed his family and send all of his children to school—all because of fair trade practices. With help from UMCOR’s partner Equal Exchange, Vasquez and his family have hope for a brighter future.

Farmers like Vasquez depend on fair trade for a living. Fair trade ensures that more of the money paid for coffee actually goes to the farmers who harvest the coffee beans. In this way, farmers are better able to support their families by earning a fair share for their crops.

World Fair Trade Day is on May 10. Download UMCOR’s World Fair Trade bulletin insert that highlights the benefits of fair trade for both small-scale farmers and consumers. United Methodists are encouraged to help increase awareness about fair trade and purchase more fairly-traded coffee, tea, or cocoa products. By doing so, you are helping to support the livelihoods of farmers throughout Latin America, Africa, Asia and the US. You can also help by supporting UMCOR’s World Hunger/Poverty Program, Advance #982920. Click the button to give now online

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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