$200,000 given to help during Christmas
ST. LOUIS, December 21, 2012—The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) has released $551,500 in grants to help in the Superstorm Sandy relief effort, including $200,000 that is being used for a special Christmas initiative.
This Christmas, $200,000 in new grants are being made to the LCMS New Jersey and Atlantic districts to comfort families affected by Sandy, which tore across the U.S. Eastern Seaboard Oct. 29. Sandy caused billions of dollars in damages when a hurricane, a nor’easter and full-moon tides converged into one massive event, destroying homes, lives and livelihoods. Now, nearly two months later, many families still face a long road back to normalcy.
The grants are being used to share a special Christmas gift of help and hope with families who are among the hardest hit.
“ ‘The Gift of Christmas’ is a special plan to apply some of the outpouring of support from congregations and individuals across the LCMS with distressed families in the New Jersey and Atlantic districts during a season that can be especially difficult,” said the Rev. John A. Fale, associate executive director of LCMS Mercy Operations.
“Particularly at this time of the year, when loss and sadness is felt more acutely, ‘The Gift of Christmas’ will enable LCMS congregations in areas most impacted by Sandy … to provide presents for children, gift cards for families and a book that tells the story of Christmas – the incarnational love of God in Jesus – in their communities,” Fale said.
Presents and gift cards are being distributed by members of local LCMS congregations through Christmas Day. District staff members are assisting local congregations with identifying recipients, including people living in shelters and those whose homes were severely damaged.
Presents and gift cards are being delivered with the book, The Very First Christmas, by Rev. Dr. Paul L. Maier, LCMS third vice-president.
The LCMS has provided $531,000 in grants, primarily to the LCMS Atlantic and New Jersey districts to provide transitional housing and to help affected families replace food, clothing and other personal items destroyed in the storm. Some $20,500 in grants also were awarded to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Haiti and the Cuban Mission Society to replace roofs and for water-filtration systems.
Thanks to the generosity of LCMS donors, the people whose lives were affected by Sandy are being helped by an outpouring of support. The grants already disbursed by the LCMS are equipping districts and congregations to effectively minister to affected communities. Through its districts and congregations, the LCMS is committed to helping in the recovery for the long haul. After other relief agencies and organizations are gone, LCMS congregations will still be in these communities bringing mercy and love to those in need. Disaster response donations will continue to help Northeast congregations and districts assist the people of the region as they fully recover.
The LCMS will provide additional grants as long-term recovery needs from Sandy are identified.
To support those affected by Superstorm Sandy and other natural disasters or man-made calamities:
- make an online gift (http://www.lcms.org/givenow/disaster);
- mail checks payable to “The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod” (with a memo line or note designating “LCMS Disaster Response”) to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-6861; or
- call toll-free 888-930-4438.
In the last five years, the LCMS has provided more than $35 million for domestic and international disaster response efforts. Keep up to date on the LCMS’ disaster response effort at www.lcms.org/disaster.
About The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
The 2.3 million-member Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is a mission-oriented, Bible-based, confessional Christian denomination headquartered in St. Louis. Through acts of witness and mercy, the church carries out its mission worldwide to make known the love of Jesus Christ. Learn more at www.lcms.org.