Donations to the United Church of Canada Mission and Service partners providing relief to those affected by hurricanes in the Caribbean can be made through the following link:
How the United Church Responds to Emergencies
In responding to emergencies, the United Church gives priority to building the capacity of indigenous organizations to respond to local situations and enhance their emergency preparedness. We rely on expertise and reporting from global partner organizations to ensure the effective use of funds. Unlike large, specialized agencies whose primary work is emergency relief, the United Church maintains a limited capacity for emergency response, and does not usually deploy personnel to accompany or monitor a relief effort. The United Church is able to draw on or engage with several support mechanisms when responding to an emergency.
Emergency Response Fund
The United Church of Canada’s Emergency Response Fund (ERF) is used to help alleviate the effects of humanitarian crises caused by nature, humans, or a combination of both. Usually these responses are short- or intermediate-term in nature. However, the ERF is also used in support of longer-term rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. Each year the ERF is replenished with funds from the unified Mission and Service Fund (currently $130,000/year). In addition, the ERF is replenished with a percentage of “supragift” monies received. (Supragifts are donations made by United Church members or others that are above and beyond the Mission and Service Fund. They cannot be counted as Mission and Service Fund credits but are eligible for tax receipts.) Eighty-five percent of supragifts received and intended for disaster relief are deposited in the fund and allocated as designated by the donor, while 15 percent of the same supragift donations are retained and used to maintain the ERF.
Action by Churches Together (ACT)
The United Church is a member of ACT, a global consortium of faith-based agencies and churches that has substantial capacity to respond to emergencies in all parts of the world. ACT works through its various regional and country members to respond to specific emergencies. It is able to draw on a standing Rapid Response Fund and relies on extra donations from its members for major disasters.
Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB)
The United Church is a member of the CFGB. Primarily a food aid organization, the CFGB is able to organize substantial food aid interventions in emergency situations in the global South. Each year United Church members contribute equity to the Foodgrains Bank in the form of cash and grain produced through local growing projects. The equity is used in support of specific emergency responses.
When major disasters occur, the United Church is sometimes able to issue a special fundraising appeal to its members, guided by an Emergency Response Protocol. Funds raised are usually shared directly with global partners or channeled through an ACT appeal.
Members of the United Church and the general public are encouraged to contribute to the work of ACT and the United Church’s partners by making a donation at http://www.united-church.ca
For Immediate Release — Monday, June 17, 2013
United Church Says National Inquiry Needed
Toronto: The United Church of Canada has added its voice to the call by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) for the Canadian government to convene as soon as possible a national inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. NWAC says that nearly 600 missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls have been documented in Canada, and that number is increasing. In her letter to Prime Minister Harper, Nora Sanders, the church’s General Secretary of the General Council wrote, “Clearly our justice and social systems are not offering adequate protection against violence for Indigenous women in this country. We take very seriously the deadly violence to which these women and girls have been subjected, and believe that Indigenous women and girls deserve to be safe, as do all Canadians. This tragedy must be addressed as a step towards returning to healthy and thriving Aboriginal families, communities and nations in Canada.”
The church’s Call to Action is encouraging its membership to sign the NWAC petition for a national inquiry, and to write to their respective municipal, provincial, and federal representatives, with a copy to the Prime Minister. The United Church is also supporting the NWAC and AFN assertion that Aboriginal women must have a leading role in the design, decision-making, process, and implementation of this inquiry.
To find out more go to: http://www.united-church.ca/getinvolved/takeaction/130612