As the death toll in Southern Asia has risen to numbers too vast to comprehend, rescue workers from all over the world are scrambling to save lives. Countless Christian organizations have also launched rescue and aid efforts to help stem the tide of misery, illness and death as the result of the December tsunami. A few of these include:
Compassion International is setting up a fund to partner with other evangelical relief agencies to aid tsunami victims. Compassion has pledged $375,000 in a major relief initiative to tsunami-stricken Aceh, Indonesia, identifying and caring for orphaned children and delivering food, clean water, medical care and counseling this week to specific families in crisis. Aceh’s death toll from the weekend quake and tsunami is estimated at more than 100,000 people, including an estimated five percent of the 300,000 in Aceh’s capital, Banda Aceh.
At least three Compassion projects were affected by the destruction. For more on what you can do, visit compassion.com
Gospel Music Association Announces Project Restore
Today, the Gospel Music Association (GMA) announced the establishment of Project Restore, an Asian Tsunami awareness, prayer and fundraising effort in coordination with World Vision, the international Christian disaster relief agency which has its staff on the ground and already responding in the stricken region, announced John W. Styll, president of the GMA.
Project Restore launches with the formation of a website, www.ProjectRestore.org, and will serve as the industry’s unified campaign for raising awareness of how the gospel music community and its fans can be involved, including encouraging financial donations to World Vision (www.worldvision.org) and other Christian agencies which GMA has worked with and which are directly providing disaster relief for the countries and the victims of the Tsunami. Project Restore will focus its initial efforts on the Tsunami disaster, but will remain the industry’s official crisis response vehicle in the future.
Visitors to www.ProjectRestore.org will find a list of website links to organizations like World Vision as well as Compassion International (www.compassion.com) , Food for the Hungry (www.fh.org), Feed the Children (www.feedthechildren.org), International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org). These Christian charities are organizations which also have relationships with GMA or with gospel music artists and are specifically targeting fundraising and relief efforts in Asia. Full story at GMA Announces Project Restore
A Wave of Love: Christians Respond to the South Asia Crisis
The Christian music and media industries are joining forces to provide a place Christians can go to share their love with those in need. “A Wave of Love: Christians Respond to the South Asia Crisis” is a special relief campaign designed to bring together Christian charities, artists, radio stations, and record companies to use their voices and mobilize Christians to act at this critical time.
All Christian artists, charities, media and creative professionals are invited to contribute their efforts to the campaign by calling Christopher Redner at (253) 874-8400 or by writing AWaveOfLove@ChildrenInNeed.com. Full story at A Wave of Love: Christians Respond to the South Asia Crisis
Homes of Hope
Like many other organizations, Radio Training Network, parent company to Christian radio stations thejoyfm, The HIS Radio Network (Alabama, Carolinas and Georgia), WAFJ (Augusta, SC) and 88.3 The Wind (Springfield MO), had been searching for a way to best help the Tsunami survivors. Providentially, The JOY FM’s very own morning show host, Bill Martin of Bill & Friends, was scheduled for a mission trip to India on January 23rd. After much research and thought, Radio Training Network developed Homes of Hope. RTN partnered with a local church in Bangladore, India, a small community in Southern India, just 15 miles from the devastated communities of Panruti and Mottom on the coastline of India.
Music For Relief
In response to the massive appeal for aid in the earthquake and tsunami stricken areas of Southeast Asia, Warner Bros. Records recording artist Linkin Park, has formed Music For Relief, an effort by concerned musicians, including Christian artist, and fans to provide emergency relief for quake and tsunami victims. Music for Relief will benefit the American Red Cross in it’s relief efforts. All donations will help the American Red Cross provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance, and other support to those in need. Linkin Park has made an initial contribution of $100,000 and is calling on other musicians, as well as fans, to contribute.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief
The United Methodist Committee on Relief is also working to aid tsunami victims. UMCOR is the not-for-profit international humanitarian aid organization of The United Methodist Church, active in many parts of the world bringing hope, providing relief from hunger and disasters, and teaching peace. Contributions to UMCOR may be sent through a local United Methodist church, Annual Conference or by mailing a check to: UMCOR, Room #330, 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115. Be sure to include the name of the emergency on the check memo line. For credit card donations, call 1-800-554-8583. Donations to UMCOR are tax deductible.
President Bush Encourages Ongoing Help for Tsunami Victims
Lutheran World Relief President Kathryn Wolford joined 23 leaders of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in a meeting on relief and development efforts related to the South Asia tsunamis with President Bush, Secretary of State Colin Powell, and USAID Administrator Andrew Natsios.
“One of the most exciting things about the meeting was that everyone involved agreed on a few key things we consider critical to our work,” Wolford said in a statement from Lutheran World Relief. “First that we all must commit ourselves to long-term efforts in the areas affected by the tsunami. Second, that money given by governments, corporations and individuals to tsunami efforts shouldn’t come at the expense of other needs and other gifts. And third, that we cannot and must not forget the many other disasters and conflicts occurring around the world.”
President Bush called the meeting to thank NGOs and USAID employees for their hard work in response to the South Asia tsunamis. Bush has encouraged Americans to not forget other ongoing needs while focusing on relief efforts for tsunami victims. “You should view the tsunami relief effort as extra help, to help solve the problem, so that we don’t short-change the … needs for compassion elsewhere in our country and the world,” Bush said. President Bush concluded his remarks by highlighting the legislation he will sign that will allow taxpayers to deduct this month’s contribution for tsunami relief from their 2004 tax returns.