Many of you are familiar with our annual gift giving to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) a Presbyterian tradition and the largest way that Presbyterians come together every year to work for a better world. This offering comes at such an important time in our world to be able to reach out and help those impacted by unexpected war, displacement and huge refugee needs in Ukraine and also elsewhere in the world. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) receives 32% of the funds from the offering to “work alongside communities as they recover and find hope after devastation from natural or human-caused disasters, and support for refugees”. As you can see in a separate article in this Messenger, the PDA is hard at work with “boots on the ground” local organization and churches helping Ukrainians in this time of war.
The Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) receives 35% of the funds raised to “take action to alleviate hunger, care for Creation, and the systemic causes of poverty so all may be fed”. The other 32% of funds goes to Self-development of people (SDOP) by “investing in communities responding to their experiences of oppression, poverty and injustice and educates Presbyterians about the impact of these issues.
In 2020, PDA granted $6.5 million in more than 500 grants to those in need in the U.S. and 56 other countries. A few of the actions the PHP accomplished in 2020 include:
· 106 gardens and greenhouses for schools, families, and communities in Palestine, Cameroon, Haiti, Bolivia and New York
· 51 sewing machines to women-headed households in Yemen and Somalia to increase and sustain their household income
· 40 water pumps, 2 cisterns, 1 borewell, and 1 sprinkler irrigation system
· 1,031 Presbyterian congregations purchased eco-palms for sustainable forestry and livelihoods.
The SDOP engaged with numerous groups and organizations around the world that are helping low-income communities have the opportunity to develop solutions to their own challenges.
The need is greater, now more than ever, with human-made disasters in Ukraine, Syria, Ethiopia and Afghanistan compounding the problems generated by climate change and natural disasters. As members of our committed Matthew 25 church, please give what you can to help those with great needs. With Thanks, The Mission Team