By now most of us know about the devastation in Nepal after two earthquakes struck the country in the last month. More than 7,600 people died. Some 2.8 million people were displaced. At least 280,000 homes were destroyed.
When I see a disaster of this magnitude, I wonder who will ensure that vulnerable people like women, children, seniors and people with disabilities are not forgotten. People like Sangita, Ratna and Sapana (pictured in this blog).
Who will look out for folks who might otherwise find themselves at the back of relief distribution lines?
Our church, that’s who.
As of May 7, gifts totaling $500,000 from the ELCA are helping to provide food, water, temporary shelter, medicine, cooking utensils, baby care kits, quilts and more through The Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief, ACT Alliance, United Mission to Nepal and other ELCA partners.
Interestingly, United Mission to Nepal is able to help oversee special medical, surgical and orthopedic care. It also distributes the United Nations’ “Safe Birth Kits” with sterile supplies for women who may have to give birth without help from a trained midwife, and ‘Dignity Kits” with basic clothing, underwear, soap, toothpaste and flashlights.
Someone was really considering what women, especially, need.
If you’d like, you can join me in giving through the Women of the ELCA. In 2014, Women of the ELCA participants gave more than $21,000 through the women’s organization to Lutheran Disaster Response.
To give by check, make your check out to Women of the ELCA and write “Lutheran Disaster Response: Nepal Area Earthquake” in the memo line. Mail it to: Women of the ELCA, ELCA Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 1809, Merrifield, VA 22116-8009. You can also give online to Lutheran Disaster Response.
Good looking out, ELCA and partners! Thank you.
Elizabeth Hunter is managing editor of Gather magazine.