Synod members and other Lutherans continue to give in record amounts for South Asia tsunami relief.
Through Feb. 14 — the latest figures available — tsunami-relief donations to LCMS World Relief/Human Care totaled $4.1 million. By early February, gifts to Lutheran World Relief’s (LWR) “Wave of Giving” tsunami-related campaign stood at a reported $11.3 million.
“The level of generosity and the rate at which the gifts are coming in to LCMS World Relief is absolutely phenomenal,” said Hans Springer, an LCMS Foundation vice president responsible for LCMS World Relief fund development.
Springer told Reporter that total gifts to LCMS World Relief for the current fiscal year (ending June 30) will likely top those for the previous record year of 2001-02 “several months before year’s end.” Gifts to LCMS World Relief in 2001-02, including those made in response to an appeal after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, came to $12 million.
Springer said that gifts in January included $565,000 from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, and that the $3.8 million total includes $200,000 that resulted from a $100,000 matching grant from the Marvin M. Schwan Charitable Foundation.
Thrivent announced Jan. 31 that it was giving an additional $2 million for tsunami relief efforts. Of that amount, $1.5 million was divided between the disaster-relief programs of the LCMS, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The remaining $500,000 is a matching grant to LWR’s “Wave of Giving” campaign.
In early January, Thrivent provided $3 million for the LWR campaign — an immediate grant of $1 million and a $2 million matching grant for Thrivent members.
A Jan. 31 news release from Thrivent said the decision to give the additional $2 million for tsunami relief came after LWR projected that the original matching grant had been met.
“Our members are overwhelmingly showing their support for tsunami survivors,” said Brad Hewitt, senior vice president of Fraternal Operations for Thrivent.
Fran Troxler, manager for mission advancement with LWR, told Reporter that the $11.3 million in gifts to “Wave of Giving” by mid-February did not include the match amounts.
LCMS World Relief/Human Care recently gave $100,000 in tsunami-relief funds to LWR for “Wave of Giving.”
To donate through the Synod, make checks or money orders payable to “LCMS World Relief” and earmark them “Asia Tsunami” on the memo line.
Mail donations to LCMS World Relief/Human Care, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-9810. Or, call the credit-card gift line at (888) 930-4438.
Donations also may be made through the online “Give Now” system by going to http://givenowlcms.org/, clicking on “LCMS World Relief,” and then on “Help Tsunami Victims in Asia.”
Posted Feb. 25, 2005