Remembering Alabama and Nashville, Preparing for Disasters of All Kinds

In a time when our media-dependent attention spans are remarkably short, anniversaries might seem easy to forget.

A year goes by. People move on to other concerns. Another year goes by. People miss them.

But for communities affected by disaster, there is no forgetting.

The last few days have seen the passing of the first anniversary of the tornadoes that wreaked havoc across Alabama in 2011 and the second anniversary of the torrential rains that flooded Nashville and other communities in middle Tennessee.

Through our remarkable partners at Disciples Volunteering  and congregations from across North America, we have been able to make sure that these areas were not forgotten.   2010-11 saw significant Disciples presence in the rebuilding effort in Nashville, and though DV is no longer operating a mission station in the Nashville Metro area, Disciples impacted several recovering neighborhoods through our partnerships there.

Disciples Volunteers work on a Nashville area home as part of General Assembly Outreach


A year after tornadoes struck Alabama, Week of Compassion and Disciples Volunteering are supporting an ongoing response in Tuscaloosa, AL, where volunteers work with local partners to support recovery efforts, continuing to meet needs in communities impacted last year. 

Storm Damage in Alabama, spring 2011


Across the country, we are also continuing to support ecumenical responses in a number of communities, some of which never made the news. Through our partners at Church World Service, we are helping provide training for Long Term Recovery Committees, access to material resources for affected communities, and facilitating recovery in countless ways.

By pooling our resources together and reaching out with Courageous Compassion, we are making a difference in communities affected by disasters, and we are preparing for the next “expected unexpected,” knowing that needs will arise, though we know not where. We can prepare for the next time, though.

After all, God calls us to respond to people at their most vulnerable moments, often when they are lost in a pile of recovery-related red tape and wondering if they have been forgotten.

And this is a call we do not forget.

Even a year later.

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 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.