A half-million-dollar grant from the founder of eBay to Lutheran World Relief, Baltimore, is being used to provide safe drinking water, sanitation and shelter to people displaced by the 18-month conflict in the Darfur region of western Sudan.
eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife, Pamela, were distressed by the situation in Darfur, where 50,000 people have been killed and 1.2 million people have fled their homes. After asking their foundation staff to research organizations that were providing aid for Sudan, the couple chose to give their $500,000 grant to Lutheran World Relief (LWR). It was received in July.
To date, LWR has distributed $440,000 in aid to victims of the conflict. Through its partnership with Action by Churches Together (ACT) and Caritas Internationalis, LWR is providing food, plastic sheeting for temporary shelters, hygiene items, wells and latrines. The aid is helping some 72,500 displaced people there, according to LWR.
“We urgently need to respond to Darfur because literally hundreds of thousands of people will die if we don’t respond,” said Lisa Baumgartner Bonds, LWR’s vice president for external relations.
LWR and its ACT/Caritas partnership have raised $12.2 million toward a $17.5 million goal to address the crisis in Darfur.
LWR President Kathryn Wolford, who also chairs ACT, said U.S. Lutherans “have been expressing interest in and concern for the situation in Darfur. We hope that more and more of our supporters will turn that interest and concern into action.
“The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod has a long history of responding generously to disasters and emergencies in the past,” Wolford continued. “Now, more than ever, we invite Lutherans to heed God’s call to help their brothers and sisters in need.”
Contributions for Darfur may be sent to LCMS World Relief/Human Care (please note that the gift is for “Darfur/Sudan” and make checks payable to LCMS World Relief/Human Care), P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-9810. Or, call the credit-card gift line at (888) 930-4438.
Posted Oct. 7, 2004