UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2009
  • September 01, 2009

The UMCOR Hotline

In Today's Hotline:

*SRI LANKA: Born to Fish

*US: Miracle Choir

*RESOURCES: Reverse Trick-or-Treat

*EVENT: National Depression Screening Day, Oct. 8


At a fishing village in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka, a group of fisherman discussed their successes and challenges following the 2004 tsunami and conflict. Many fishermen lost their homes and livelihoods, and were prevented from fishing during the conflict.

“I was born to fish,” says Konamalai. UMCOR is helping Konamalai and many others like him to not only do what they were born to do, but to earn more at the same time.

UMCOR donated bicycles and coolers to allow the fishermen to take their catch directly to market. “Before, I had to sell my fish for 50 rupees on the beach,” said one fisherman standing next to his UMCOR-donated bicycle. His profit doubles when he takes the fish to the market himself.

UMCOR is supplying several local fishing societies in Sri Lanka with nets, bicycles and coolers. Support this work by giving to Sri Lanka Relief and Development, UMCOR Advance 3020630. Click the button to give now online


Two years ago, Church World Service affiliates, Meridian UMC in Meridian, Idaho and Collister UMC in Boise, Idaho, welcomed refugee families from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to the US and into their congregation.

The families are survivors of the 2004 Gatumba Massacre. Rebel army forces attacked and killed many of the people living at the Burundi refugee camp.

While helping the families adjust to new life in the US, Meridian UMC also formed a gospel choir. “Everyone can feel the spirit and their love of God when they sing,” said Mary Lynne Ball, refugee and immigration coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference. The group chose to name themselves the “Miracle of God Singers” referring to the miracle of surviving the horrendous 2004 massacre.

For more information about sponsoring refugees contact,, or give to New Hope for Newcomers, UMCOR Advance #901779. Online Giving


The US spends more than $16 billion dollars a year on chocolate. Fifty percent of cocoa comes to the US from the Ivory Coast, West Africa—where children as young as five years old are trafficked into slavery and forced to work on cocoa farms.

This Halloween, UMCOR, the General Board of Church and Society and Equal Exchange are encouraging congregations to distribute fairly-traded chocolate through the Reverse Trick-Or-Treat campaign.

Encourage trick-or–treaters to pass out fair trade chocolate and United Methodist informational cards to every home they visit. This will help raise awareness about child labor problems in the cocoa industry and how fair trade certified chocolate provides a viable solution.

Download UMCOR’s Fair Trade Chocolate bulletin or Power Point slide to learn more. Also visit Equal Exchange’s Interfaith Store to place your order. For information about Reverse Trick-or-Treating visit, or give to UMCOR SA&D, UMCOR Advance #982188 which supports small scale farmers. Online Giving


On Oct. 8, parish nurses and United Methodists congregations are invited to take part in the National Depression Screening Day (NDSD) Community Response Program to meet the social, physical, and mental needs of those suffering from depression, anxiety disorders, and more.

The National Depression Screening Day is a comprehensive program that provides organizations with tools to offer mental health screenings, detect disorders before they become serious, and educate their communities. A congregation may host an in-person mental health screening event or offer an online mental health screening.

Promote the positive mental health and wellbeing of your community by participating in this program. Download NDSD screening information or click here to register 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.

BE SURE TO RECEIVE OUR HOTLINE EMAILS. MAKE UMCOR YOUR BUDDY! Some Internet Service Providers like AOL, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Juno use email filtering software that allows you to add email addresses to a "buddy," "trusted," "safe," or approved list. Please add to your list so that our messages don't end up in "junk mail" or the "trash."