Knowing Where Your Money Goes

In the past few weeks since the earthquake in Japan, I have seen a multitude of  financial requests from such notable agencies as the Red Cross, Doctors Without Boarders, CARE and a multitude of others.  Like many others, I seriously considered giving money to them. However, in the end I choose to support the the United Methodist Church’s, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

My choice was based upon many factors, the least of which is that my community and I  were a recipient of UMCOR aid back in the early 1990’s when Hurricane Hugo devastated the South Carolina Coast. At the time, my family lived in Summerville, SC, in the direct path of the hurricane.  We lived through the devastation and damage caused by the hurricane and spent the next three or four years recovering from the storm.  Like any major natural disaster, it takes years for a community to recover from such an event.  Initially, the desire is to feed, clothe,  heal and shelter those who are displaced by the storm.  Then the next step is to repair or replace the community infrastructure of schools, roads, bridges and municipal buildings. Next comes the rebuilding of the local economy.  And finally, helping families rebuild their lives by repairing and building permanent housing, job creation, and long term care of the emotional, mental and physical scars left from the storm.

Hurricane Hugo at landfall over Charleston, SC.

These tasks do not take weeks to accomplish; they take years.   UMCOR was present in Charleston and all the affected areas for years.   Their presence helped to care for and sustain the fragile recovery of untold thousands.

Though UMCOR is not alone in claiming and living a mission to long term recovery after a disaster, it is one of the few agencies whose response is almost immediate.  By working though local UMC congregations, UMCOR is able to get substantial help on the ground, often before the federal government or other relief agencies arrive. On those occasions where the United Methodist Church has low or no numbers, UMCOR works in partnership with other denominations to establish a base of operations and offer their considerable support of the local denominations efforts.  UMCOR  and its partners were on the ground and helping the victims of the Japanese Earthquake immediately, and was offering assistance to anyone in need.

Japanese couple carrying food to family after earthquake

I am both in awe of that response and proud to associated with the UMCOR.

UMCOR, like any non-profit agency is doing it’s annual fund drive called One Great Hour of Sharing through the United Methodist Church. This year that offering will take place in most churches April 3, and  is very important as it offers UMC Church members a rare opportunity to have a very clear understanding of where their money is going.   So, for my UMC friends out there, Please give generously.

If you are not a member of the UMC, your support is also welcome.  Because of the denominational support of UMCOR’s leadership, the all funds go directly to aide instead of operational costs.  Donating to UMCOR is money well spent, and appriciated.

To learn more about UMCOR and its mission, go to UMCOR.ORG

 

UMCOR logo

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Peace,

Dr. Mel

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~ by sideseat on March 30, 2011.

 
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