UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2009
  • March 31, 2009

The UMCOR Hotline

In Today's Hotline:

*US: Flood and Tornado Response

*COLOMBIA: Fair Trade Rewards

*US: Conference to Develop Health Ministries

*GHANA: A Little Goes a Long Way


UMCOR is responding with emergency grants to help the Dakotas Annual Conference, the Minnesota Annual Conference and the Mississippi Annual Conference recover from extensive weather related damage.

In North Dakota, flood waters rose over communities in Fargo when significant rainfall and snow melt caused the Red River to crest. Fargo residents prepared in advance and build dikes and many volunteers raced to fill an estimated two million sandbags to protect their communities.

UMCOR is sending 3,000 cleaning buckets to the Dakotas and Minnesota annual conferences to aid in clean-up as well as health kits for the city of Moorhead, Minn. which is expected to be especially hard hit by flood waters.

Separately, in Mississippi, two tornadoes rolled across the south destroying 108 homes and causing extensive damage to communities and businesses. You can help residents recover from these storms by giving to Domestic Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, Online Giving or help by providing cleaning buckets by clicking here.


Doña Ana Lucia Bañol is a single mother who struggled to raise five children on her own. When she heard about ASPROCAFE, a fair trade coffee co-operative, she moved from the city to Riosucio, Colombia.

“I didn’t know anything about farming. I didn’t even know how to grow a tomato,” laughed Bañol.

Through training provided by ASPROCAFE, a partner of Equal Exchange, she now manages a small farm that is flourishing with a variety of organic fruits, vegetables and coffee bushes. She earns a fair share for her crops by selling coffee directly to the co-operative.

UMCOR’s 100-Ton Challenge is still underway. As of March 4, United Methodist congregations and individuals participating in UMCOR’s 100-Ton Challenge bought 69.3 tons of fair trade product. Help farmers like Bañol earn fair prices for their crops by purchasing Equal Exchange fair trade coffee, chocolate or snacks today, or give to World Hunger Poverty, UMCOR Advance #982920. Online Giving


Last month, the Desert Southwest Annual Conference sponsored a health ministries luncheon for attendees to share program ideas and develop health ministries within their faith communities. Alice Stephenson, a parish nurse consultant in Verde Valley, Ariz., outlined a local church health and wellness model and provided insight for starting a health ministry.

The luncheon was a direct response to the UMCOR-sponsored Empowering Health Ministries Conference held last September in Lake Junaluska, NC. 24 churches including laity, parish nurses and health ministry staff attended from various annual conference districts.

To learn more about Congregational Health Ministries, please click here.


Auntie Serwaah, received a micro loan through UMCOR’s Sustainable Agriculture and Development Program (UMCOR-SA&D) in 2002 and is successfully growing corn, plantain, cassava and other nutritious vegetables in Jeduaka, Ghana.

Sewaah was also the only female participant in UMCOR’s beekeeping training that enabled her to install three bee hives. With the support from the loan program and the profits from her farming activities, Serwaah built her first two bedroom house. This year, her goal is to have 20 bee hives and become a successful beekeeper.

Support small-scale farmers in West Africa grow nutritious food that supports their livelihood by giving to UMCOR-SA&D Program, UMCOR Advance #982188. Online Giving

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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