This past week we have all witnessed the profound and heartbreaking human tragedy unfolding in New Orleans,
Mississippi and Alabama in the wake of hurricane Katrina. It is certainly a wake-up call to us about both the precariousness
and the interrelatedness of all life. We share aching sadness, disbelief and outrage which call us to action. As members
of religious communitas we understand the power of prayer which is imperative and unconditional. We also have been seeking
some concrete actions that we can take too to support the thousands of victims who have lost everything.
that a pathway has opened up. As members of The Mid-Hudson Valley Chapter of United Religions Initiative, we are reaching
to the churches, synagogues, Buddhist centers and mosques in our region to join together to gather clothing and specific supplies
which will be taken to Houston, Texas ASAP to help victims arriving by the thousands daily with nothing. We are linked
with a network of churches and other faith-based communities in Houston who will receive with open arms whatever we can get
to them -- and place them into the hands of those in need. This is a precious opportunity to align together as people
of faith to create healing and hope. Extending our hearts and hands across this distance is itself an answer to our
prayers to be of service.
These human connections, expressions of love, the outreach of the heart without a
pause hopefully will source healing for people devastated by this disaster. It is a gift to us too -- an invitation
to open conversations with each other here in the Mid-Hudson Valley. Hopefully we can explore other ways to share prayer
and action in the future in support of healing the Earth and all living beings.
We are asking your help in the Mid Hudson Valley URI Katerina Relief Effort. Because of your resourcefulness
and connections with the Interfaith communities in this region we ask for your help at this desperate time of need .
Where we are:We have faith based groups on the ground in Houston coordinating
relief efforts for 100,000 refugees. They are ready to distribute food, clothing, toys, blankets, school supplies, etc., by
the planeload as fast as we can get it there.
The local contact is a dear friend on the URI Council PK McCarthy working with Local
grass roots churches/ points of distribution/people of color/ Houston TX working other churches and
organizations as a way station for food, clothes and money to get to others:
of God Lutheran Church
7800 W. Bellfort, Houston, Texas 77071 ,
Rev. James Berggren
contact: PK Mc Cary
and numerous other churches, synagogues and mosques. They are up and
running and registered with FEMA.
Food and drinks
Games and toys
Sheets and blankets
Other Community Churches in Houston include in consortium:
Spring Tabernacle Church, 3031 F.M. 2920, Spring;
Baptist Church, 600 W. Sterling, Baytown
St. Peter Claver Catholic Church, 6005 N, Wayside
Community Center, 2407 Market Street, Baytown
Mont Belvieu Senior Center, 11607 Eagle Drive, Mont
Church, 2803 53rd Street, Galveston
The need: 1) Mobilize faith based communities
to organize supply drives, get those packed and delivered in an appropriate way.
2) Get companies to donate goods and services including packing supplies and storage space.
3) Transportation. We will need pick up trucks for local transport. We
are hoping to get on approved list with Stewart Air Force Base so that the Air National Guard can transport the donations
to Houston. We may need other transport from Hudson Valley to Houston.
The Challenge: Lots of folks will be ready to give. How do we coordinate it, promote it, store the
supplies and get them transported?
Updates: We are pleased to have Family of Woodstock ( A United Way Agency) on board as a
co sponsor. They have been getting lots of calls from those who wish to give donations.
The Wiitenberg Center for Alternative Resources can process financial donations earmarked MHVURI
Communications. please send your email firstname.lastname@example.org marked info MHV URI forward.We will set up a list serve soon. Also please send me your phone numbers and best time to
communicate by phone.
All efforts are needed now. You have wonderful, creative minds. We literally need to move mountains.
We need your help now. Please respond and let us know if you will participate in this effort
With deep appreciation,
Mid Hudson Valley URI
We, people of diverse religions, spiritual expressions
and indigenous traditions throughout the world, hereby establish the United Religions Initiative to promote enduring, daily
interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the
Earth and all living beings. URI Charter