In just one week, LCMS World Relief and Human Care has received donations and pledges totaling at least $600,000 to assist victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti.
That amount includes a $100,000 grant from the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis, which is offering to match up to $6,000 in donations from each of its 65 member congregations.
LCMS World Relief and Human Care (WR-HC) has allocated $30,000 in emergency funds for Haiti so far this year. Half of that grant is being used by LCMS missionaries and volunteers to provide food, water, and medical care on the Haiti-Dominican Republic border, and the other half will be used by the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti for food, water, and shelter.
“As the LCMS Haiti assessment team determines the best way to allocate donor funds through our partner, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti, the focus will be on maximum relief and assistance — both now and for years to come,” said Rev. John Fale, associate executive director of LCMS WR-HC.
The Synod’s mercy arm also has pledged, according to Fale, significant dollars to Lutheran World Relief, Baltimore, to assist in its response.
Hans Springer, associate executive director for fund development with LCMS WR-HC, said donations of all sizes are coming in every day.
“I talked with one gentleman this morning who called,” Springer told Reporter Jan. 20. “He is only making a $10 gift, but wanted to make sure that his church was doing relief work in Haiti.”
Another donor contributed money he was going to use to fix his family’s roof, saying, “the people in Haiti needed help more.”
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is offering a 50 percent matching gift — $1 for every $2 contributed by its members to Lutheran disaster relief agencies, including LCMS World Relief and Human Care and Lutheran World Relief, Baltimore.
Thrivent Financial has pledged to give as much as $1 million to the effort, dubbed “Helping Haiti,” which could result in a total of $3 million.
Contributions to any of the following will qualify for the Thrivent matching gift:
* LCMS World Relief and Human Care, online at https://catalog.lcms.org/givenow/Gift_input.asp?ID=800, by phone at 888-930-4438 (toll-free), or by mail at P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861 (mark checks “Haiti Earthquake Relief”).
* Lutheran World Relief, online at www.lwr.org/haiti, by phone at 800-597-5972, by mail at LWR — Haiti Earthquake, P.O. Box 17061, Baltimore, MD 21298-9832, or by “texting” “LWR” to 40579 to give a $10 gift from your cell phone (when you get a confirmation message, reply “yes”).
* Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, online at www.thrivent.com/helpinghaiti or by phone at 800-236-3736 (when prompted, please say “directory,” then enter ext. 83003).
Please note that the maximum Thrivent Financial match is $250 per member donation. Matching contributions will be accepted through March 31.
Posted Jan. 20, 2010