Haiti: More than £270,000 raised by Methodist appeals

UPDATE 23 Feb 2010 - total now over£535,000

Appeals for Haiti launched by the Methodist Church and MRDF haveraised more than £270,000.

Donations to both MRDF and to the Church's World Mission Fund aresupporting the emergency relief and long-term rehabilitation workbeing carried out by the Methodist Church in Haiti. MRDF is alsochannelling funds to Action by Churches Together. As well asfunding food, blankets, tents and latrines, donations to MRDF havehelped to provide a water purification system in the Belairneighbourhood of Port-au-Prince. This is providing 10,000 homelessHaitians with crystal clear drinking water - the first clean waterthey have had since the earthquake struck.

In his Sunday sermon the Revd George Mulrain, President of theMethodist Church in the Caribbean and the Americas, said "Ourcontribution to Haiti does not wait until a disaster strikes. It isongoing. Various agencies and organizations are contributing torelief in Haiti, which is commendable. But soon the dust willsettle and the media folk will turn to another "breaking newsstory" as the saga of Haiti recedes into the background. Not sowith us as Methodists. We are there to stay, because, our motive isnot to make the news headlines. The love of Christ constrains usand we stay."

Simeon Mitchell, MRDF's Fundraising, Marketing and CampaigningDirector, said: "Methodists have once again responded with speedand generosity, and we are deeply grateful for this support. Inview of the widespread devastation and chaos, every donation issignificant. These gifts are enabling us to alleviate some of thesuffering in the short term, and empower people to begin rebuildingtheir lives."

As of this morning, donations to the World Mission Fund havereached £161,000 with the Methodist Church in Ireland contributingmore than £25,000 to that total. Donations to MRDF stand at£117,000.

The Revd Tom Quenet, Methodist Partnership Coordinator for theAmericas and the Caribbean, is planning to visit Haiti later thismonth. "The figures that the Methodist Church in Haiti has sent usrepresent a massive loss of the church's infrastructure to servethe men, women and children of Haiti," he said. "The destruction ofschools mean that the effects of the earthquake will be felt bymany generations into the future, the loss of clinics means thatlives will be shortened for lack of health care, the destruction ofchild care facilities will mean that children and young people willbecome vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The overwhelminglygenerous response of the Methodist people means that not only arepeople receiving water, food and shelter in the immediate aftermathof the earthquake, but also the Haitian church will be best readyto respond in alleviating the long term consequences."

People can donate via the Methodist Church by visitingwww.justgiving.com/Methodist-Church-Haiti-Appeal, or sending acheque payable to the World Mission Fund to Dave Bennett,Fundraising Coordinator, at Methodist Church House, 25 MaryleboneRoad, London, NW1 5JR. Postal donations should be labelled 'HaitiAppeal'. For further information visit www.methodist.org.uk orcontact Revd Tom Quenet on 020 7467 5160.

To donate via MRDF, visit www.mrdf.org.uk or call 020 7224 4814 togive by debit or credit card, or send a cheque made payable 'MRDF(Haiti emergency)' and to MRDF, 25 Marylebone Road, London NW15JR.