Thursday, January 14, 2010

Reformed Church Responds to Haiti Earthquake

Reformed Church World Service

has responded with an initial contribution of $10,000 to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

How You Can Help
Pray for the people of Haiti, especially for those who are injured, homeless, or have lost loved ones. Pray also for the hundreds of rescue workers and disaster recovery personnel.

Donate to provide water, blankets, temporary shelter, and food to the tens of thousands who are homeless. Send contributions, designated "Haiti Earthquake," to Reformed Church in America, P.O. Box 19381, Newark, NJ 07195-1938 or, in Canada, to Regional Synod of Canada, 201 Paradise Road N., Hamilton, ON L8S 3T3. To donate by credit card, call (800) 968-3943, ext. 247 or go to the Haiti Earthquake Donation Page.

Assemble hygiene kits and baby kits and ship them to Church World Service. Detailed information on creating and shipping of kits is available at
Check for updates on the RCWS website:

"The people of Haiti have urgent needs rights now," says David Dethmers, coordinator of Reformed Church World Service, "basic needs of water, food, and shelter. We make this contribution on behalf of the members and friends of the Reformed Church in America, confident that in the longer term we will be able to do much more."

The initial support will be directed through the RCA's partner, Church World Service (CWS), which has staff permanently placed in Haiti and the Dominican Republic and therefore is able to mobilize quickly. In the early days of the response, CWS will be providing blankets, water, and hygiene and baby kits.

In a conference call with CWS communions on Wednesday afternoon, Donna Derr, director of emergency response programs for CWS, highlighted the urgency of the need for donations to address the crisis in Haiti.

"We are emptying our warehouse in Maryland," she emphasized. "We're intending to ship over 25,000 hygiene kits and several thousand baby kits. That's almost everything we've got. There's a desperate need to replenish our supplies. I urge churches and individuals who are seeking a way to help to put these kits together and ship them to us as soon as possible."

RCWS Partners with Christian Reformed World Relief Committee

On Friday, David Dethmers will travel to Haiti with a delegation from CRWRC, the relief and development arm of the Christian Reformed Church. "It's a sign of the growing relationship between our two communions," Dethmers says. "Within hours of hearing about the disaster, we were in communication with each other. Very quickly it became clear that it made sense to travel and work together."

In Haiti, Dethmers will meet with a wide variety of local partners of both Church World Service and CRWRC. He is also hoping to meet with the RCA's new partner in the Dominican Republic, the newly emerging Reformed Church in the Dominican Republic. The recovery in Haiti will be a long one. "The goal of the trip," he says, "in addition to encouraging and supporting RCA partners in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, is to listen to local partners, developing a mid- and long-range strategy that will support the Haitians as they plan and implement their own recovery and plan their future."

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