Gabriel's Horn, Pastor George Weaver, October, 2014

posted Oct 1, 2014, 7:49 AM by Lois Kerchner   [ updated Oct 1, 2014, 7:49 AM ]

Hunger Relief through CWS

Church World Service (CWS) was founded in 1946 and is a cooperative ministry of 37 Christian denominations and communions, providing sustainable self-help, disaster relief, and development and refugee assistance around the world. The CWS mission is to eradicate hunger and poverty and to promote peace and justice at the national and international level through collaboration with partners abroad and in the US.

CWS program areas mainly target education and advocacy, both of which are essential components in confronting the root causes of hunger. By raising awareness about hunger, poverty, water access, trade, human rights, climate change, peace building and other issues in its Speak Out alerts, CWS brings the voices and priorities of its partners and constituents into the halls of governments, community groups, and churches.

Disaster Response — When disaster strikes, CWS works with partners on the scene to provide shelter, food and water, blankets, recovery kits, and counseling — the basics needed to ensure the survival of individuals and communities at risk. In addition to rapid emergency disaster response, CWS also provides long-term development initiative, helping vulnerable families and communities prepare for and recover from natural and human—caused calamities. For example, in drought-ridden Ethiopia, CWS and partners assisted 120,000 people with food and seeds to restart farming activities.

In the United States, when disaster strikes, CWS dispatches its disaster response specialists where needed in order to provide assistance to local interfaith groups, assessing and responding to the material and spiritual needs of their communities. After Hurricanes Ike and Gustav hit the U.S. Gulf Coast, CWS reached out to its network of long-term recovery groups for project development support and also for provision of material resources such as CWS Blankets and Kits. Since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, CWS has partnered with Habitat for Humanity and has invested in building long-term recovery capacity along the Gulf Coast. As a result of this collaboration over 640 houses were repaired or rebuilt in the targeted area of the Gulf Coast.

Assisting Refugees — CWS helps meet the needs of refugees in protracted situations and those who are able to return home. It also serves tens of thousands of refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers in the U.S. and around the world each year with screening for potential resettlement to the U.S., chaplaincy support, legal, and other professional services. Working with denominations and congregational co-sponsors, CWS and its network of resettlement affiliates have welcomed and found new homes in the U.S. for more than 450,000 refugees since 1946.

CROP Hunger Walks - The largest fund-raising events for Church World Service are CROP Hunger Walks (originally the Christian Rural Overseas Program and later changed to Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty).The first CROP Hunger Walk was in York, PA in 1970. Now more than 2,200 communities across the U.S. join in CROP Hunger Walks each year. A unique aspect of CROP Hunger Walks is that Church World Service doesn't receive all of the money raised. Up to 25% of the funds donated is given to local hunger fighting agencies which include food banks and community gardens.

Our Local CROP Walk this year will take place on Sunday, October 19. You can help in the fight against hunger and despair by walking yourself or supporting those who do.

George Weaver, Pastor of Maturing Ministries