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Media Contact: Dan Curran for UMCOR - 770-658-9586 (cell) - DanCurran@CurranPR.com
Seeking to help the global community as the world responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 8,350 people recently donated $1.7 million to the Sheltering in Love campaign coordinated by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) of United Methodist Global Ministries.
Thanks to donations to the Sheltering in Love campaign and other funding from Global Ministries, a total of $2,329,785 through 230 grants to 43 countries and 43 U.S. states and territories has been awarded in support of 105 local churches, 54 episcopal areas and 52 nonprofit organizations.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief established the fund to provide rapid response grants to help churches and partners assist vulnerable populations dealing with pressing needs related to the pandemic, such as food security, healthcare, job stability and water, sanitation and hygiene.
Examples of Sheltering in Love grants include:
- in Alaska, stranded fishing industry employees in Unalaska, 800 miles from the nearest hospital in Anchorage, were given access to a Saturday/Sunday day shelter by Unalaska United Methodist Church, which offered showers, laundry facilities, meals, utilities and limited assistance with travel and planning.
- in Alabama, seasonal workers and resort industry personnel who lost their jobs or businesses received funds through Gulf Shores United Methodist Church to pay for utilities, childcare and other basic needs. in California, the Gum Moon Residence Hall of San Francisco provided groceries and rent to low-income Asian women who lost their jobs or had their income reduced because of the pandemic.
- in Texas, the Good Neighbor Settlement House of Brownsville, the sole food pantry open in the area during the height of the pandemic, was able to provide for the unhoused population, unemployed families, furloughed restaurant workers and people who have suffered layoffs. The grant covered purchasing food, disposable carry-out and cleaning supplies needed to continue their program.
- in Nepal, 500 households in the Jukepani Rural Municipality of Nawalparasi District affected by the lockdown received groceries when a grant to Sanyukta Methodist Mandali Ko Biswabyapi Sewakai helped the residents of this marginalized area receive food that would give their immunity systems a needed boost. in Nigeria, for farmers, Fulani herdsmen and others displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency living in a displaced persons camp, a grant enabled the United Methodist Church of Nigeria Rural Health Program to provide rice, beans, magi, palm oil and groceries to 700 households.
- in Puerto Rico, where 45% of the population lives under the poverty level, a grant helped the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico provide food to families and personal protective equipment gear to first responders (volunteers) of local churches distributing food and supplies.
- in Eurasia, families who had lost all sources of income because of the pandemic were helped by The United Methodist Church in Eurasia (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people to shelter in isolation, but we are all united in our desire to demonstrate God’s love for one another by supporting programs that help those impacted by the novel coronavirus,” said Thomas G. Kemper, general secretary of Global Ministries and a leader of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). “We appreciate the tremendous outpouring of support for this program and the ability to quickly distribute these funds to partners serving their local communities.”
Grants were rapidly released through the Sheltering in Love fund, enabling partners to assist vulnerable populations around the world impacted by COVID-19, including racial/ethnic and indigenous communities in the United States. You can continue to support
the work of Global Ministries and UMCOR in its ongoing programmatic response to the coronavirus.
About the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
Founded in 1940, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the global humanitarian aid and development agency of The United Methodist Church. UMCOR is working in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the United States and its territories. Its mission, grounded in the teachings of Jesus, is to alleviate human suffering—whether caused by war, conflict or natural disaster— with open hearts and minds to all people. UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community's ability to recover on its own. UMCOR works through programs that address hunger, poverty, sustainable agriculture, international and domestic emergencies, refugee and immigrant concerns, global health issues and transitional development. Learn more at www.UMCOR.org