1998 NCC News Archives

National Council of Churches logo represents the church 
as ecumenical ship, serving the world

U.S. Ecumenical Community Channels Aid
to Caribbean After Hurricane Georges

For an update, see NCC Oct. 9 News Release "CWS Expands Hurricane Georges Recovery Program in Caribbean Ecumenical Recovery Efforts Also Underway in Gulf Coast Region"

NEW YORK, N.Y., Sept. 25, 1998 ---- Church World Service, the ecumenical humanitarian response ministry of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and its 34 member denominations, is offering two ways for concerned individuals and groups to help Caribbean communities ravaged by Hurricane Georges:

Funds will support both immediate and long-term recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. To make phone pledges or credit card donations, call 1-800-762-0968. Or mail contributions to CWS, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

Church World Service, whose headquarters is in New York City, already has sent $15,000 to Dominican Churches Social Service (SSID), a long-time partner in the Dominican Republic, for immediate relief needs, including blankets and construction materials.

Two CWS Emergency Response personnel, Shirley Norman and Roy Shipley, will spend the next two weeks in Puerto Rico working with Waddy Gonzalez, Puerto Rico-based FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison, to initiate interfaith local recovery work, especially to help with needs unmet by government and other disaster response groups and to address long-term recovery needs – for example, coordinating volunteers for rebuilding.. Mr. Gonzalez requested this assistance. Felix Ortiz, a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) staffer in Haiti for the last several years, will spend next week on behalf of CWS to evaluate needs – especially of the poor in northeastern Haiti -- and plan response through the Haitian ecumenical community, including through CONASPEH (National Spiritual Council of Churches in Haiti), the Ecumenical Committee for Peace and Justice (COPJ) and SKDE (Christian Center for Integrated Development). As CWS receives recommendations from those two assessment visits, from elsewhere in the Caribbean and from Florida, it will update its program.

Persons may also assemble "Gifts of the Heart" clean-up and health kits and mail them prepaid to: New Windsor CWS Service Center, 500 Main Street, New Windsor, MD 21776-0188. Here are the specifications:

CLEAN-UP KIT: 1 bucket filled with sponges; 1 wire brush; plastic garbage bags; 1 scrub brush; rubber gloves; 1 can powder cleanser.

HEALTH KIT: 1 hand towel; 1 wash cloth; 1 new bath-size bar of soap; 1 comb; 1 toothbrush; 1 tube of toothpaste; 6 adhesive bandages; 1 nail file. Wrap items in the hand towel and tie it all up with ribbon.

Pack all kits in sturdy cartons. Multiple kits may be boxed together. Please clearly mark the outside of each box to indicate the kind of kit (i.e.: "Clean-up Kit," "Health Kit") and number enclosed. Your contribution of 50 cents per pound will help speed the kits to the people who need them.

For further information, click here to go to CWS "Disaster Response in the United States," which includes an index of "Hurricane Georges" appeal and situation reports.


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