Relief and Redevelopment
|September 13, 2017
We are grateful to each of you who are contributing generously to our relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. Some of our neighbors are still suffering. One church member shared with me this (Thursday) morning that he, his wife and their 93-year-old mother only yesterday had electric power restored.
So far we have received $ 10,506 for Hurricane Irma Relief. We have already designated gifts of $ 1,000 for Mision Peniel and $ 1,000 for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in Immokalee, $ 1,000 for Beth-El Farmworkers Ministry in Wimauma, $ 500 for All Faiths Food Bank here in Sarasota, $ 500 for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance across the Caribbean, and $ 250 each to Buckingham Presbyterian Church and Hope United Presbyterian Church, both in Ft. Myers and damaged by the storm. We will continue to make financial gifts as we hear from our mission partners, including those above, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Peace River Presbytery and other local partners.
We have already sent the first wave of supplies to Mision Peniel and CIW in Immokalee and to Beth-El Farmworkers Ministry in Wimauma. We are grateful to Jane Nicholl for transporting provisions to Immokalee and Clara Ordonez for taking supplies to Wimauma.
We will work with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Peace River Presbytery to discover if we can help a congregation or community through a hands-on mission trip.
We have been joined in this work by two neighboring congregations, St. Boniface Episcopal Church on Siesta Key (Wayne Farrell, rector) and Congregation Kol HaNeshama in Southgate (Jennifer Singer, rabbi). We have received contributions from as far away as Virginia, Indiana, and Missouri, including this message from a pastor and congregation. “Our session wants you to use this money to help alleviate your electric and water bills from opening your church to the community after the hurricane.”
We will receive your over-and-above donations and supplies again this Sunday, September 24. 100% of your gifts will go to our mission partners. Please make out your check to First Presbyterian Church and write Irma Relief on the memo line. Please place your supplies in the narthex, fellowship hall or chapel. As you gather additional provisions, here are the most recently updated lists.
In addition, we have received $ 4,308 in contributions for Hurricane Harvey Relief. We are sending $ 3,558 to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for Harvey relief and redevelopment in Texas and Louisiana, and $ 750 ($ 250 each) to three churches in the Houston area, Clear Lake Presbyterian Church, St. Philip Presbyterian Church and Webster Presbyterian Church.
This is a busy hurricane season. If you wish to make an over-and-above donation for Hurricane Maria Relief, please write your check to First Presbyterian Church and write Maria Relief on the memo line. We will work with our partners in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, primarily Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.
We are blessed to be a blessing. Please continue in prayer for the people of the Caribbean, South Florida, Texas and Louisiana through the hurricanes, South Asia in the monsoons, and Mexico in the recent earthquakes.