“Love in the Midst of Tragedy” Program Comes to an End
STAMFORD, CT, April 26, 2007—An appeal that upset all the record books at the time, Love in the Midst of Tragedy, has been closed out with the approval of a final grant of $177,868.
Love in the Midst of Tragedy was the United Methodist response to the multiple aspects of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It was international in scope.
United Methodist Committee on Relief board directors voted to use the last of the money to provide additional income generation and livelihood assistance to some 650 vulnerable Afghani families in Kabul and Wardak. The grant will be used to purchase livestock, according to the request for funds. Directors took the action in their semi-annual meeting in Stamford April 24.
Love in the Midst of Tragedy set a record at $20.8 million in donations from United Methodists who wanted to provide financial, spiritual and humanitarian assistance. According to a 2003 press report, "the attacks of Sept. 11 gave United Methodists a new awareness of what it means to be prepared for a disaster." Bishop Edward W. Paup, president of the UMCOR board, underscored that notion in his thanks to the directors and the staff of UMCOR for the focus of the initiatives "not just on shelter or distributing funds, but on the whole person's wellbeing, whether from an affected area in the US or from Afghanistan."
Love in the Midst of Tragedy funded domestic and international aid programs beginning in 2002. Stateside programs in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia emphasized disaster preparedness and long-term recovery of vulnerable families and individuals affected by the attacks.
Thousands of families and individuals received assistance from the New York office and satellites over a three-year period. Funding to interfaith and annual conference partners benefited tens of thousands more in the five-state area. Most of the annual conference programs closed or sought other sources of funds in 2005.
Internationally assistance went to Afghanistan for rebuilding and restoration of communities, as well as for Afghani refugees displaced in the 24-year war. Peace related projects in Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and West Africa also received funds. The Afghanistan programs, which are ongoing, have attracted funds from public donors.
Money spent included about $14.4 million for local response, about $1 million for national response, and about $5.3 million for international response. In-kind donations valued at $783,000—mostly health and school kits—were distributed in New York and Afghanistan.