Severe Weather in the Midwest, Food Crisis in West Africa, and Gifts that Make a Difference

Responding to Tornados

Following severe weather across the Midwest, Week of Compassion is responding to needs affecting Disciples communities in Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa.  While no churches have been damaged, we have received reports of damage to the homes of church members. Though there are reports of a few fatalities, thus far, no Disciples have reported bodily harm or fatalities.

We have already responded to needs in several communities in Oklahoma and Kansas, but we are still collecting information from areas affected in Iowa.  For safety reasons, only trained emergency responders are currently allowed into the area.  As more information becomes available, we will respond, and we will keep you informed, as well.  

West African Food Crisis

A deepening food crisis is affecting an estimated 12 million people concentrated primarily in the West African region of the Sahel, with the fear that famine is imminent.

The governments of Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Chad and Niger have already declared states of emergency and called for international assistance.

The United Nations reports that grain shortfalls leave up to 6 million people at risk of hunger in Niger, one of the world’s poorest countries. In Burkina Faso, the deficit could leave as many as 2 million people at risk. Pastoralists, mothers and children under the age of five are the most vulnerable groups.

“There is a sense of despair because people literally don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” said Paul Valentin, the international director of Christian Aid, a Week of Compassion partner through the ACT Alliance, reporting on his recent trip to Burkina Faso.

Cyclical droughts, severe flooding, crop failure, rising food prices, and depleted grain and livestock reserves resulting from previous years’ crises have all undermined people’s ability to survive the regular lean period that usually begins in May or June. This situation has been further exacerbated by the spillover effects of political turmoil and conflict in Cote d’Ivoire and Libya, including the displacement of thousands.

Week of Compassion partners’ responses include providing food to those most in need and treating malnourished children in Burkina Faso, cash-for-work programs in Mali where the most vulnerable receive seeds and prepare their land to withstand drought, as well as a focused response in Niger and Senegal. 

It is through your compassion and generosity that Week of Compassion is able to respond to storm damage and famine.  If you would like to reach out to these communities with Courageous Compassion, please consider a gift supporting relief and recovery.

Making a Difference this Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is approaching!  Why not honor the mothers in your life by sharing a gift that makes a difference in the lives of women all over the world?  Several of our partners are providing special opportunities for you to pay tribute to the women who inspire you this Mother’s Day.

Safe Motherhood Kits Save Lives Around The World

According to the World Health Organization, for every woman who dies in childbirth, 20 more suffer injury, infection or disease. That's 10 million women a year whose lives are at risk, and whose children suffer with them.

IMA World Health's Safe Motherhood Kits™ (LINK: http://www.imaworldhealth.org/medicines-supplies-and-care/safe-motherhood-kits.html) provide clean and sterile birthing supplies to expectant mothers in developing countries – areas where infant and maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world. Too often, unsafe and unsanitary birthing conditions are to blame.

One $25 donation provides an entire Safe Motherhood Kit™ to an expectant mother, from the materials and packaging to shipping, delivery and training. Think of it—a $25 donation may be a matter of life and death for a mother and her baby

Give a Beautiful Gift to Mothers in Your Life, Opportunity for Mothers Around the World

You can also support the work of Week of Compassion while shopping for Prosperity Candle gifts. Every Prosperity Candle gift helps a mother rebuild her life, while also giving your mom a beautiful gift. Choose “Week of Compassion” at checkout under the “How did you hear about us?” section so that a portion of your purchase supports the Week of Compassion Women’s Empowerment Fund .

To start, take a look at their gift guide for ideas! Order by May 7th to make sure your gift is delivered in time for the holiday!

CWS Blankets+ Provide Resources for a Viable Future

Blankets+  is a special mission opportunity for all ages.  Some 8,000 congregations and groups across the U.S. hold CWS Blankets+ events, providing funds to help people in need around the world, including the U.S.  Blankets and Tents for vulnerable people following disasters, as well as wells, seeds, and other tools to help families build a foundation for the future.  You can even send special Mother’s Day cards and e-cards  to promote Blankets+.

Call For Writers

The Call for Writers for the 2013 Week of Compassion Leaders Guide is now online!

Share your unique voice as a writer!. We're looking for writers of liturgy, sermon ideas, activities for children and youth, and more for the special offering materials supporting the 2013 Week of Compassion. To learn about this Call for Writers, visit the link above, study the guidelines — then get writing! Deadline for entries is June 1, 2012.