Friday, January 29, 2010

Haiti Relief 'Compassion Window' Still Open But for How Long?

Haiti Relief 'Compassion Window' Still Open But for How Long?

First Week Fundraising Totals Running Ahead of Record 2004 Asia Tsunami

World Vision Disaster Strategist Says Recession Hasn't Stopped American Generosity

SEATTLE, Jan. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- One week after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, generous donations amaze experts at World Vision, the Christian relief and development organization. Despite a crippling recession and high unemployment, donations to World Vision's Haiti Relief Fund are ahead of the pace set by donors after the South Asia Tsunami of 2004 which killed more than 200,000 and left millions homeless.

Randy Strash, World Vision's Strategy Director for Emergency Response says, "In a disaster of this magnitude, charities typically have three to six weeks before the media and the public's attention shifts." Strash says, "That's how fast this 'Window of Compassion' closes." He adds, "Already, American media is finding other stories to crowd news of the Haiti quake off the headlines. The Massachusetts U.S. Senate race and storms in Southern California are just two examples."

And the poor economy hasn't slowed the pace of fundraising. "Even in tough economic times, Americans continue to give. That kind of generosity continues to amaze us", says Strash. "And we're especially grateful to the small donor (donating between $20 and $100) who uses the World Vision internet site."

To date, a total of $15 million has been has been received, more than $11 million of that coming from internet donors. In addition, more than $3 million has been donated in brand new hospital supplies. World Vision is hoping to raise between $40 and 50 million for Haiti Earthquake Relief. World Vision donors contributed $68 million after that disaster; most of that total was raised in the first few weeks. The death toll from the January 12th Haiti quake threatens to be just as devastating.

To Donate to Haiti Earthquake Relief:
Log on:

Call: 1-888-56-CHILD
Or Text: "Give" to 20222

Randy Strash has 30 years of experience at World Vision. He is available for interviews. Contact Gardi Wilks 708- 434-5006 (office) 708-205- 5020 (mobile)

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the world's poor, regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, visit

Missionary Organization Says Networking Key to Haiti Relief Efforts

Missionary Organization Says Networking Key to Haiti Relief Efforts

MEDIA ADVISORY, Jan. 22 /Christian Newswire/ -- After a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, an outpouring of aid came in as individuals, organizations, and countries around the world sought to provide relief to those affected by the devastation. World Gospel Mission President Hubert Harriman and others in the Marion, Indiana, area think they've found a more effective way to respond to the crisis than just through individual donations. "If communities partner together, relief will be a life- changing experience for both the Haitian people and the community itself," Harriman says.

WGM staff recently partnered with various other organizations in the Marion area to mobilize an effective response strategy. Together, the community is supporting a team of 13 medical professionals, including three doctors from Marion who will travel to Haiti on January 22 under the leadership of Kevin Jones, program manager for the Alliance for International Christian Business Education. Participating organizations include Indiana Wesleyan University, Global Partners, Brookhaven Wesleyan Church, Marion General Hospital, Missionary Flights International, and Medicap Pharmacy.

"Seeing the transformation of a community as organizations and businesses partner together is phenomenal," says Harriman. "Our efforts take on an exponential strength when they are fused with the efforts of others in our community. We are stronger united."

The medical team will be based on the west side of the capital city Port-au-Prince in an area heavily affected by the disaster. They will be caring for injured survivors in a walled schoolyard with medical supplies donated by Marion General Hospital and Medicap Pharmacy. Brookhaven Wesleyan Church will be sending more medical teams in the coming months as a continuation of the community partnership.

Visit WGM's website for ideas on how to mobilize community engagement

for the Haiti relief effort and to give to the Crisis Relief Fund

. For more information or to help repair Christian radio station Radio Lumière, located in Port-au-Prince, please contact Tim Rickel at 765-671-7283.

About World Gospel Mission
World Gospel Mission disciples believers to become missions-active Christians. As an interdenominational mission organization, WGM partners with individuals, small groups, college groups, and churches to intentionally address the physical and spiritual needs of individuals and communities.

U.S. Federal Judge Agrees Germany Violated Basic Human Rights of Homeschoolers

U.S. Federal Judge Agrees Germany Violated Basic Human Rights of Homeschoolers

PURCELLVILLE, Va., Jan. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- Today, in a first of its kind case, a federal immigration judge in Memphis, Tennessee granted the Romeike family political asylum. Judge Burman said, "The rights being violated here are basic human rights that no country has a right to violate."

Judge Burman also expressed concern that while Germany is a democratic country and an ally this policy of persecuting homeschoolers is "repellent to everything we believe as Americans."

"This ruling is a major embarrassment for Germany. We hope this decision will cause Germany to stop persecuting homeschoolers," said Mike Donnelly, staff attorney and Director of International Relations for HSLDA.

Uwe Romeike, a music teacher, his wife Hannelore, and their five children, fled persecution by German authorities over homeschooling in August 2008 and are now living in Eastern Tennessee. This ruling opens the door for many other homeschool families to escape Germany.

The persecution of homeschoolers in Germany has been intensifying over the past several years. They are regularly fined thousands of dollars, threatened with imprisonment, or have the custody of their children taken away simply because they choose to home educate.

"We are so grateful to the judge for his ruling," said Uwe Romeike. "We know many people, especially other German homeschoolers, have been praying for us. Their prayers and ours have been answered. We greatly appreciate the freedom to homeschool we now have in America and will be building our new life here," he added.

For more information about Germany's persecution of homeschoolers, visit


Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is a 27-year-old, 85,000 member non-profit organization and the preeminent association advocating the legal right of parents to homeschool their children.

LWR Health Kits, Layettes Arrive in Haiti as Relief Efforts Ramp Up

LWR Health Kits, Layettes Arrive in Haiti as Relief Efforts Ramp Up

BALTIMORE, Jan. 26 /Christian Newswire/ -- Lutheran World Relief's first shipment of health kits and layettes to Haiti has arrived safely.

"Our partners at Church World Service (CWS) have confirmed the shipment has arrived and will be distributed immediately to the people who need it," says Trevor Knoblich, LWR's Program Coordinator for Emergency Response.

The shipment, sent jointly by LWR and CWS, contained health kits and layettes from LWR, and blankets and medicine from CWS. The items will be distributed to survivors of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12. Meanwhile, LWR has appealed to its U.S. supporters to increase donations of quilts and kits in order to meet the needs in Haiti and around the world.

In partnership and coordination with fellow members of the Action by Churches Together (ACT) International global aid alliance, LWR continues working to bring water, food, shelter and other essential aid to earthquake survivors.

ACT partners Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) are working to distribute water and secure sanitation for displaced Haitians. LWF is working in four cities outside of Port-au-Prince to provide food, access to water and sanitation, temporary shelter and other materials to more than 19,000 people. Partners at NCA are focusing on the Bel Air section of Port-au-Prince and Cite de Soleil, providing access to water and sanitation to people affected by the earthquake.

Christian Aid, another ACT partner working on the ground, is distributing food to families in the area of Delma, one of the most heavily affected areas of Port- au-Prince. So far, CA has reached 200 families with food and will work to reach more.

"Thanks to the generosity of our U.S. donors, LWR is able to support these relief efforts to meet the immediate needs of the people of Haiti," said LWR president John Nunes. "At the same time, the overwhelming show of compassion from U.S. Lutherans allows LWR to start planning a long-term response."

LWR has pledged a long-term commitment in Haiti of at least three to five years, focusing mainly on underserved rural areas outside Port-au-Prince. The earthquake also affected many of these areas, and even those communities that did not sustain damage in the quake will be strained by the anticipated migration of hundreds of thousands of people leaving the Port-au-Prince area. The northern department of Artibonite, where LWR has worked for 14 years, is seeing the largest influx of migrants from Port-au- Prince, putting a significant strain on an area with already limited resources and infrastructure.

Working with local partners and communities in this long term rehabilitation phase, LWR will help communities restore damaged infrastructure, regain agricultural production, strengthen local organizations so that they can respond to future disasters, and help people in underserved rural communities rebuild their livelihoods.

"The road to recovery for the people of Haiti will be a long one and the work is just beginning," adds Nunes. "Lutheran World Relief is committed to seeing this work through and helping the people of Haiti grow stronger and more self-sufficient."

WHO IS LWR? Lutheran World Relief, an international nonprofit organization, works to end poverty and injustice by empowering some of the world's most impoverished communities to help themselves. With partners in 35 countries, LWR seeks to promote sustainable development with justice and dignity by helping communities bring about change for healthy, safe and secure lives; engage in Fair Trade; promote peace and reconciliation; and respond to emergencies. LWR is headquartered in Baltimore, Md. and has worked in international development and relief since 1945.

Teens Go Hungry to Help Haiti Quake Survivors Through World Vision's 30-Hour Famine

Teens Go Hungry to Help Haiti Quake Survivors Through World Vision's 30-Hour Famine

Hunger Awareness Campaign - February 26th, 27th
Hundreds of Thousands Participate Nationwide

30-Hour Famine Funds go to Haiti Quake Relief and Long Term Needs

SEATTLE, Jan. 27 /Christian Newswire/ -- Next month, hundreds of thousands of American teens will go hungry in an effort to help Haiti quake survivors and fight global hunger through World Vision's 30-Hour Famine. This year, a portion of funds raised by 30-Hour Famine groups will go toward Haiti's long-term recovery.

Pat Rhoads, World Vision's 30-Hour Famine Manager says, "I'm really excited and grateful that teens here can have a direct impact on teens and children in Haiti. Many wish they could go there and help the people of Haiti. This is a way to directly help them, even if they can't make the trip."

Now, by participating in World Vision's 30-Hour Famine, hundreds of thousands of American teens will also put a human face on the untold suffering of the Global Food Crisis. And youth will be helping those hardest-hit by the recession here at home as they participate in community service projects (at food banks, soup kitchens and homeless shelters).

Where does 30-Hour Famine money go? Haiti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, Sudan, Mauritania, Pakistan, Zambia, Zimbabwe and other targeted spots where famine, conflict and other crises make children vulnerable.

World Vision has been working in Haiti for more than thirty years. This year, in addition to addressing immediate relief needs, 30-Hour Famine funds will be spent on long-term needs in Haiti such as food rations to children and mothers and HIV-positive adults, fruit trees, small-scale drip irrigation, guinea fowl and pigs, construction of eight new clinics (serving 55,000) and a new pharmacy, immunizations and more.

Tonight, nearly one billion people worldwide will go to bed hungry - that's one out of every six people on earth. 26,000 children die each day from preventable causes like hunger, disease and malnutrition. Chronic poverty, affecting half the people on earth, is the cause. Nearly 3 billion people live on less than $2 a day.

This February 26th & 27th, hundreds of thousands of American teens will participate in World Vision's 19h annual 30-Hour Famine, forsaking food for 30 hours to get a taste of what the world's poorest children face. Prior to the event, teens raise funds by explaining that $30 a month -- just $1 a day -- can feed and care for a child for 30 days. As they fast, teens consume only water and juice as they participated in local community service projects.

Since 1992, students have raised more than $130 million worldwide. In 2009, 30-Hour Famine raised close to $11 million. This year's goal is to raise $12 million. World Vision works in nearly 100 countries, helping approximately 100 million people. Visit

or call 800-7-FAMINE for more information.

Pat Rhoads -- 30-Hour Famine Manager -- World Vision

Media Contacts:
Gardi Wilks 708-366-8389 (office) 708-205-5020 (cell)
John Yeager 253-815-2356 (office) 425-765-9845 (cell)

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. World Vision serves the world's poor regardless of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, visit