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Medical Relief To Asia


For sixty years, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has responded to world disasters.  The church agency depends on volunteers. That’s why college kids from Texas and retired folks from Florida gathered at a warehouse in Louisiana to assemble health kits for the tsunami survivors. If you’ve ever wondered where donation dollars go, here’s an example of faith in action.  Reed Galin reports.


(Locator:  Baldwin, LA)

Nat sound:  packaging

Volunteer/UMCOR: “We’ve got one tube of toothpaste, six Band Aids, some fingernail clippers...”

Multiply this by tens of thousands of times, for survivors of the Asian tsunamis.

Tom Hazelwood/United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR):  “We have found that if you’re able to use just the soap and water, that’s a big help in helping keep down the diseases and everything that comes in after a disaster like this.”

That’s why the United Methodist Committee On Relief, UMCOR, is sending 25-thousand health kits, worth 300-thousand dollars to areas hit by the killer waves. Donations come from people who want their dollars to really make a difference.

Tom Hazelwood/UMCOR:  “Our phones have been ringing off the hook.”

Corey Rosemurgy/UMCOR Volunteer: “It makes me feel good, making all the bags for people that I know that really need them, taking time out of my life to help someone else out.”

Volunteers from churches all over the country are putting the kits together to be shipped from UMCOR’s Sager Brown depot in Baldwin, Louisiana to areas that need the help the most.

Richard Sockrider/UMCOR:  “Makes me feel great, you know, to be able to say, golly, those health kits went to this certain spot.  And they appreciate what we do for them, I know they do.”

Betty Dowd/UMCOR Volunteer: “Well, I’m just hoping that they get where they are supposed to go. I hope that the people that really need them, get them.”

These health supplies are just the beginning of what’s needed. UMCOR and its faith-based partners have set a goal to rebuild 10 thousand homes – it’s a long-term commitment.

Nat sound: truck driving off


UMCOR is focusing its efforts on mid- and long-term recovery.  The donations are going toward programs that will help the survivors be the key players in rebuilding their own communities and putting their local economies back on track. One hundred percent of donations are going directly to the efforts on the ground.

For more information about the work of Sager Brown, and UMCOR, go to:

To learn more about this story, see UMCOR depot serves as hub for aid to tsunami-stricken areas.

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