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In Today's Hotline: Read how UMCOR is responding to needs all over the world.
If drought continues at the same intensity in many US states, the resulting disaster could be more costly than Hurricane Katrina, said experts who have been helping drought-stricken communities plan a long-term response.
“It looks as if the drought, especially in the western heartland, will continue into 2013,” said Steve Cain, chair of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) Drought Task Force. UMCOR has been working with the task force to develop training for people and organizations who want to help communities organize long-term drought recovery groups.
The effects of drought are cumulative, agreed Heather Klason, disaster-response coordinator for the Minnesota Annual Conference.
“If we see a continuing imbalance in crop years, then farmers and communities end up making fewer equipment purchases, and they purchase fewer supplies. I don't know that we've seen the full effects yet,” she said.
Last week, the US Department of Agriculture designated 597 counties in 14 states as natural disaster areas after they suffered from severe drought for eight weeks in a row. The designation makes qualified farmers in the areas eligible for low-interest loans. Read more.
Your gift to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670 supports UMCOR’s response to those suffering from drought and other natural and human-made crises.
January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Please pray for those who are or have been trafficked, and for those who are working to help them. Read more.
UMCOR supported partner GlobalMedic to provide help after massive flooding devastated Assam, India, last year. Watch this video from GlobalMedic to see how your donations made a difference.
Palm Sunday is March 24 this year. Why not celebrate the triumphal entry of Christ using palm fronds that are fairly traded? Through the Eco-Palm Project, palms bought from harvesters are purchased at a fair price and cut down in a way that protects the environment.
Proceeds from palm sales help harvesters send their children to school, improve their communities and provide necessary health care. UMCOR partners with the University of Minnesota Center for Integrated Natural Resources to make these Eco-Palms available.
Prepare for Palm Sunday now. Visit www.ecopalms.org or watch this video to learn more. Credit card orders must be made by March 1 and check orders by March 8. Palms will be delivered March 18 – 22.
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 any of the "DONATE" links or make a $10 donation anytime by texting “UMCOR” to 80888. 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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United Methodist Committee on Relief
General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church
Room 1520, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115
Voice Phone: 1-212-870-3816; FAX: 1-212-870-3624