OCA Sends $10,000 to IOCC for Haiti Relief

January 15, 2010

SYOSSET, NY [OCA] — In an immediate response to the mounting human suffering due to the earthquake in Haiti, and with the blessing of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, the Charity Committee of the Orthodox Church in America’s Metropolitan Council sent $10,000.00 to International Orthodox Christian Charities [IOCC] on Thursday, January 14, 2010.

Concurrently, Metropolitan Jonah issued an appeal to the clergy and faithful of the Church, the text of which follows.

APPEAL OF METROPOLITAN JONAH FOR HELP IN ALLEVIATING THE SUFFERING IN HAITI

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, faithful hierarchs, clergy and laity of the Orthodox Church in America,

All of us are familiar with the saying, “one picture is worth a thousand words.” And, during the past few days, as all of us have seen countless media images of the unimaginable human suffering taking place in Haiti as a result of this week’s earthquake, the truth of this saying has taken on new meaning.

A great deal can be said at a time like this. It is indeed tragic to witness one of the world’s poorest, yet so often forgotten, countries suffer yet another devastating blow; as one news commentator observed, “an entire country has been destroyed in a matter of seconds.” The media images flashing before our eyes — of destroyed homes and schools, of rescue teams working feverishly to uncover survivors buried in the rubble, of families whose lives are forever changed, seemingly left with little or no hope — offer us a chilling reminder that everything we hold precious can change in an instant and that nothing other than “the hope that is in us” is a certainty. Beyond this, what more can be said?

Any words we might utter must be given life through action — and, in this case, immediate action. With my blessing, the Metropolitan Council Charity Committee is sending $10,000.00 to International Orthodox Christian Charities, in the hope that the parishes and faithful of our Orthodox Church in America will join us by offering their own expressions of hope. Hence, I humbly ask that, on Sunday, January 17, special collections be taken in all parishes for IOCC’s Emergency Relief Fund, and that the offerings received be sent directly and immediately to IOCC, PO Box 630225, Baltimore, MD 21263-0225. Over and above this request, I encourage those families and individuals who can do so to send personal gifts, which may be made on-line at www.iocc.org, by calling toll free at 877-803-4622, or by mail to the aforementioned address.

By putting our words and faith into action — together — we can provide a ray of hope to those who so desperately need it at this time, the “least of the brethren.” In so doing, may we come to recognize that “our brother IS our life,” worthy of “the hope that is in us.”

With love in Christ,

+Jonah
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

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