UMCOR / News Room / Hotline News Update / Archives 2010
  • February 02, 2010

The UMCOR Hotline

In Today's Hotline:

*HAITI: Earthquake Recovery Update

*UMCOR: Pizza Pies for Haiti

*EVENT: Sign up for Souper Bowl of Caring

*UMCOR: One Great Hour of Sharing

HAITI: EARTHQUAKE RECOVERY

Assessment Continues

The first team of UMCOR staff to visit Haiti since the earthquake returned on Monday, February 1, passing the baton to a fresh team that arrived there Sunday evening. The goal of the UMCOR teams is to support the Methodist Church of Haiti (EMH) to assess damages and needs, and to plan for long-term recovery in the devastated Caribbean nation. EMH has helped to identify a location where an UMCOR office and staff residence can be established in the southern Port-au-Prince area.

While the team, led by program executives Melissa Crutchfield and Sharad Aggarwal, was in Haiti, they piloted a program of food distribution to largely unattended local communities outside of the capital, Port-au-Prince. The UMCOR team also met with representatives of some of the other not-for-profit, nongovernmental and church organizations, whose initial efforts to respond to the January 12 emergency in Haiti are being coordinated by the United Nations.

The full assessment of damages and needs, as well as an initial clearing of debris from the earthquake, is expected to take at least another two months. Long-term relief and recovery support will be in put in place with the help of  volunteers. Meanwhile, creative fundraising efforts in the United States to support Haiti relief continue to be the most valuable, immediate response to the emergency. Gifts to Haiti can be made online by visiting www.umcorhaiti.org. For gifts by mail, please make checks payable to UMCOR and mail to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Please indicate Haiti Emergency, UMCOR Advance #418325 on the memo line of your check. One hundred percent of gifts made to this advance will go to help the people of Haiti.

Tax Relief

A new law allows contributors to Haiti relief efforts to claim their cash donations on their 2009 tax returns, according to the Internal Revenue Service. The law, enacted January 22, refers to donations for Haiti relief made to charitable organizations such as UMCOR after January 11 and before March 1, 2010, whether these were made via text message, check, credit card or debit card. Taxpayers may make the deduction on either their 2009 or 2010 returns, but not both. Please visit IRS.gov for more details.

Hearts for Haiti

A downloadable gift card, available when you make a donation to UMCOR for Haiti relief, makes the perfect Valentine’s Day gift. Not only do you show your beloved how much you care, you also remind the people of Haiti in their time of suffering that they are not alone. Click here to make your donation and select a Valentine’s Day gift card.

And while thousands of health kits have been assembled and sent to Haiti, the need for both health kits and layette kits is ongoing. Click here for more information.

UMCOR: PIZZA PIES FOR HAITI

During a one-week period in January, Grotto Pizza, a chain of Delaware restaurants, raised more than $34,000 for Haiti by donating 15 percent of all pizza sales that week to UMCOR’s relief and recovery work there.

The suggestion to designate the funds for UMCOR came from Laura H. McCann, Grotto’s director of employee and community relations and a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Seaford, Delaware. “I knew from my own experience,” McCann said, “that 100 percent of all donations to UMCOR goes to the intended purpose.”

In addition to donating a percentage of sales to UMCOR, Grotto Pizza has placed donation boxes in its restaurants to receive contributions from customers to help the survivors of the tragedy in Haiti.

EVENT: SOUPER BOWL OF CARING: FEBRUARY 7

Like thousands of United Methodists around the country, Grace United Methodist Church in Hopkin, MA, invites football fans in its area to “rethink Super Bowl Sunday” and join the Souper Bowl of Caring. If football devotees redirect even one-tenth of our collective Super Bowl Party grocery bill of $55 million to feed the poor, suggests the church’s blog, we could make a huge difference for the hungry in our own communities.

United Methodists are encouraged to participate in Souper Bowl of Caring on Feb. 7, by collecting canned goods and making donations through local church offerings.

Last year, 13,794 United Methodist church groups participated in Souper Bowl of Caring events across the US, collecting canned goods and raising a total of $10,339.23 nationwide for local hunger programs. All donations go directly to the local charity of each group’s choice. Register to participate at www.souperbowl.org and give to Hunger/Poverty Program, UMCOR Advance #982920. Click the button to give now online

UMCOR: COMING IN MARCH - ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING

When a massive earthquake leveled the capital city of Port-au-Prince in Haiti and decimated outlying areas last month, UMCOR was there to bring comfort to survivors and set a direction for long-term recovery efforts. UMCOR used 100 percent of your donation to respond to the tragedy, just as it did after a series of typhoons struck the Philippines last fall and when a tsunami devastated Indonesia in 2004.

When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing this spring, your gift will help cover UMCOR’s cost of doing business and allow us to keep our promise that 100 percent of every other contribution you make to a specific UMCOR project will be spent on that project and not on administrative costs.

One Great Hour of Sharing is March 14.

Order your free offering envelopes or posters by calling 888-346-3862. Check the UMCOR website for worship materials in support of this important offering. Gifts to this fund can be made all-year long. Please give 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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