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HAL Statement on Hurricane Katrina Relief


RevNeal

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Hurricane Katrina Relief

 

August 31, 2005

 

Dear Friend,

 

The incalculable damage resulting from Hurricane Katrina has left many of us looking for ways to help. While even one loss of life or a home is heartbreaking, we are fortunate not to have employees who live in the areas directly affected by this disaster. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.

 

Many people within the Holland America Line community have asked what they can do personally to help the victims. As a company Holland America Line is making a corporate donation to the American Red Cross to aid in the relief efforts. We are implementing a donation program for guests onboard as well as for employees. Holland America Line will match these donations up to $100,000.

 

Guests affected by the hurricane who are booked on upcoming sailings should call 800-577-1728 for assistance with their travel arrangements.

 

I am very proud of our employees, guests and friends for again reaching out to offer support in response to a major natural disaster.

 

Sincerely,

 

Stein Kruse

President and Chief Executive Officer

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cruznon and DonMaryCar,

 

Thank you so much for your prayers. This week has been difficult and long, but it's been nothing compared to what these people have been through. Dallas has about 25,000-30,000 evacuees -- not counting all those who are with families and friends and are not depending upon public services.

 

Our breadbasket shelves have nearly been depleted, but we had a huge food and clothing drive this weekend and have managed to resupply it. As of right now it looks like my congregation is going to be a hosting 21 families on a semi-permament basis in our education wing, and two of the houses we own are being prepared for 4 additional families to occupy for up to 6 months (longer if absolutely needed). Still, it's only the a drop in the bucket of the total need. Prayers, gifts, and service are desperately needed. Dallas and its surrounding towns are nearly at the saturation point in terms of how many we can absorb, and more cities are coming forward to help. This evacuation and resettlement will require many more cities to do the same. Texas is a logical state to take in the first evacuees ... but even if you're in California or in New York or in Florida, the need is great.

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All the very best RevNeal for your efforts and the efforts of others to feed, clothe and house the thousands of evacuees. It is wonderful how everyone in the country and around the world come together in times of disaster? Here in Canada, there are fund raising efforts going on continuously. Two little girls raised $60.00 from their Lemonade Stand at the weekend. They forfeited a trip to a theme park, to sell their lemonade. Every little bit helps. This type of thing is going on across the country. We are supporting this unbelievable natural disaster in the best way possible, usually by donating to the Canadian Red Cross or Salvation Army or other church agencies.

 

I just heard on CNN that New York City has sent a convoy of buses to the area.

 

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone working hard to help and to bring things back to normal no matter how long it takes.

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Greg, Thank you so much for all the hands on help you are doing. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Here in central Pa we are trying to do our part too. On Saturday, our Junior League, of which I am a member sent a truck to New Orleans. I took a carload of essential items that were asked for like water, food, blankets. We even made it on the local evening news. It did my hear good to see all the thousands of donations we got on such short notice. We all worked hard to pull it together, but that is what the league is all about volunteerism. Keep up the good work, Adele

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RevNeal,

 

The aftermath of this disaster is far reaching .. what wonderful work your church is doing. We have made donations, but really want to help out knowing something we are doing is immediately helping families. We would love to make a donation to your efforts, might it be possible to obtain an address along with what name we should place on our check. Also, are you set up to accept matching gift forms from corporations?

 

I was happy to hear yesterday that our state is going to house up to 2500 folks at a military base on the cape. We're waiting to hear what they need .. we were planning to have a yard sale this fall, but if the things we have will help a family rebuild their homes, we are more than happy to share what we have to help out. I know they are going to need essentials like hats, boot, gloves as fall is knocking on our doorstep and it won't be long before jackets will be required here in the northeast.

 

The images we see daily are very disturbing and we pray that families will be reunited and cities rebuilt.

 

Bless you and the members of your church.

 

Peggy Sue

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Peggy Sue,

 

I serve as Pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Seagoville, Texas; a congregation of 480 members. Our direct relief operations in the form of food, clothing, shelter, gas cards, phone cards, basic health care, and medicine assistance are run by the church for those in our immediate area, through the North Texas Conference of the UMC in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex area, and through the General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) on the national and international level. The United Methodist Church is a large Protestant denomination with major emergency relief operations designed to deal with disasters of this kind. The offering we took up for relief this past Sunday was split three ways: 1/3 to our church's direct efforts, 1/3 to UMCOR's operations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and 1/3 to UMCOR's operations within the boarders of the North Texas Conference.

 

If you have an agency that you normally give to for this kind of thing, I encourage you to give there. If you would like to give directly to UMCOR you can do so through the following website:

 

UMCOR: Hurricane Relief

 

Every dime that is given to UMCOR goes to relief operations ... we underwrite the administrative overhead through our Church's annual apportionments to ensure that not a cent that is given for such relief operations is touched for operational costs.

 

In addition to money, UMCOR also has many hands-on projects that one can contribute to -- Flood Buckets, Health Kits, Bedding Packs, etc. Directions for how to make and donate them can be found at

 

Relief Supply Kits

 

IF you would like to give directly to FUMC Seagoville's efforts, you may do so by sending a check to:

 

First United Methodist Church

101 S. Kaufman Street

Seagoville, Texas 75159

 

In the memo line of the check put "For Hurricane Katrina relief."

Any funds received will be sent 1/3 to UMCOR for on-site needs, 1/3 to the North Texas Conference for area relief, and 1/3 for relief operations that our church is directly responsible for (see above listing). If one would rather there be a different distribution that should be noted as well. All funds received are disbursed; nothing is used for administration (again, that's already underwritten in our Church's operating budget).

 

One of the largest expenses that we have in hosting these families is not food (that's provided by UMCOR and our "United Methodism's Breadbasket" operation) and not electricity for our buildings (that's covered in our operational overhead) and not even medical care (that's provided by Red Cross), but in providing gas vouchers to help those who are in transit to get to family and friends for long-term lodging. As of today we have given out nearly $750 in gas vouchers (actually, gift cards) to Louisiana citizens who were in transit to the homes of family and friends in Texas, Oklahoma, and as far away as Utah. It's a worthwhile expense and far cheaper than trying to support people for the long-haul in shelters.

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