MRDF Tsunami appeal passes £1 million

The Methodist Relief and Development Fund's Tsunami appeal haspassed £1 million. The appeal was launched on 26 December 2004, andpeople's generosity has made it the biggest-ever response to a MRDFappeal. It is also the first time that a MRDF appeal has topped £1million.

Kevin Fray, MRDF Supporter Relations Coordinator, offers "a bigthank you to everyone who has responded so generously. The impactof this disaster will be felt for a long time, and The MethodistChurch is committed to supporting the rebuilding effort for as longas necessary."

MRDF is working closely with the World Church Office to ensurethat the money is spent effectively and wisely. Kevin Fray says "itis one thing to raise a lot of money, but quite another to make themost of this gift. So many people across the whole MethodistConnexion have been involved in this, from churches and circuitsthrough to the Finance and World Church Offices. Everyone has donea superb job so that the money can go where it is needed with aminimum of fuss and delay."

MRDF is working with a number of partner agencies, primarilyAction by Churches Together (ACT). ACT works in turn with a varietyof church-based aid bodies that are operating across the region tobring aid and help people to rebuild their lives and businesses.Money given to MRDF has already gone to provide truckloads of foodand water to remote communities; fishing nets and boat repairs tohelp fishermen start earning a living again; blankets, clothing andcooking equipment; house reconstruction; and traumacounselling.

Kevin Fray says that, despite the worldwide media attention theTsunami attracted, neither MRDF nor its supporters have forgottenareas of need elsewhere. "In addition to the generous gifts to theTsunami appeal, people have continued to give to our other appealsand general funds. We want to thank everyone who has given,especially those who have given to MRDF for the first time. Sadly,we live in a world where the help of MRDF and other agencies isgreatly needed in many places, especially Africa, and there isnever a shortage of good uses we can put donations to."

Prior to the Tsunami appeal, MRDF's most successful emergencyappeals were for Sudan in 2004 and Southern Africa in 2002, but itis also supporting work following the Caribbean hurricane in 2004,and many other projects worldwide. "The £1 million given to theTsunami appeal," says Kevin Fray, "was in addition to the generalgiving we have received so far in 2005, and we want to thank allwho are supporting us. Your gifts are enabling people in Africa, inLatin America and of course in Asia to work their way out ofpoverty."