CHICAGO, IL (February 12, 2010) – One month after an earthquake destroyed Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and surrounding areas, Covenant World Relief has received more than $600,000 in donations, Director David Husby said today.
Covenant World Relief (CWR) has been dispersing the donations to its partners, Medical Teams International and World Relief International. They have been using the money to provide medical supplies, support the work of numerous medical professionals, and feed thousands of people on a daily basis.
“We are so thankful for all of the churches and individuals who have generously and creatively come together to support Covenant World Relief and our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” Husby said.
The funds have come from individuals, Covenant churches and institutions across the country and sister denominations around the world.
North Park University students, faculty, and staff contributed $10,000 during a recent chapel service. University Ministries announced the week before that a special offering would be taken during the service.
“The outpouring was generous and students heard the cry of those in need and opened their hearts and their bank accounts to meet that need,” said campus pastor Judy Peterson.
“One student had stayed in Chicago over Christmas break to save money for a new laptop and felt God prompting her to give it to the offering instead,” Peterson said. “Another wrote a check from their savings for $1,000 and still others took the little they had for food that week and placed it in the offering.”
Peterson added, “I am always amazed and constantly encouraged by the generosity of the North Park community. They consistently go above and beyond, and I couldn’t be more thankful that they are my brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Responding to the disaster has given new opportunities for churches to work together. The Storehouse Covenant Church in Chicago held a three-hour concert in collaboration with a local Hyde Park Vineyard Church and Mission Covenant Church from Blue Island.
Musicians from the church led worshipers in an array of music, including Brazilian jazz, contemporary Christian, and traditional gospel. “It was a wonderful night of worship with a truly diverse group of very talented artists using their gifts in very unique and personal ways,” said Chrissy Palmerlee, CWR department services manager.
In the days preceding the worship service, college students who attend the churches collected financial donations on several campuses while distributing CWR flyers about feeding centers in Haiti.
Children in the Awana program at International Falls Covenant Church in International Falls, Minnesota, eagerly gave of their allowances as they learned how expensive it was to supply water in Haiti. The youth group sold bottles of water to the congregation as a reminder of the need.
Teenagers at the Children’s Home of Cromwell, Connecticut, raised more than $1,000 through various fundraisers including selling Valentine Day baskets. The home is a residential treatment center, special education school, and family treatment center.
The donations to Covenant World Relief will continue to assist the people of Haiti in years to come. “Although many relief agencies will leave Haiti after the (immediate) relief phase is over, both World Relief and Medical Teams International will remain in Haiti for the long haul as they work with the people of Haiti in the rebuilding of their country,” Husby said.
CWR partners continue to purchase supplies in Haiti whenever possible as a way of helping local economies, Husby said. An article distributed through Associated Content listed Covenant World Relief, along with Samaritan’s Purse and others, as one of the six trustworthy charities to which people can give.
To receive regular updates about the work in Haiti, visit the CWR blog and Facebook sites. The Covenant’s Haiti Response website includes information from different denominational departments, and links to current and past Covenant News Service stories, as well as links to CWR partners.