Habitat for Humanity received this week its largest single donation by a faith community for its Haiti earthquake-recovery efforts.
The African-American Baptist Mission Collaboration, composed of five African-American Baptist groups, gave a $500,000 check to Habitat on Tuesday. The check is the coalition's first toward its five-year, $50 million commitment for the Haiti rebuilding effort.
"We are inspired to invest in this ministry for housing solutions, because we are following the teachings of Jesus who said that when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and give shelter to those without shelter that we do this for him," said Dr. Stephen John Thurston, president of the National Baptist Convention of America. "We do this for Jesus, and we do this for those who suffer in Haiti."
The AABMC is made up of the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention; National Baptist Convention, USA; National Baptist Convention of America; National Missionary Baptist Convention of America; and the Progressive National Baptist Convention
In February, Habitat announced a multi-year plan to help 50,000 earthquake-affected families in Haiti. The home-building ministry's plan includes distributing emergency shelter kits, debris recycling and removal, house repairs, transitional shelter, and new construction of homes. The new homes will be resistant to earthquakes and hurricanes.
"Habitat is currently providing housing solutions for families in Haiti recovering from January's earthquake," said Mike Carscaddon, executive vice president at Habitat for Humanity International. "This significant gift from the AABMC will be used for our work in Cabaret (Haiti) to help 630 families have shelter from the rain."
More than 200,000 homes were severely damaged by the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti in January. Some 1.2 million people were left homeless or displaced as a result.
The Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund has committed $300,000 to help Habitat provide emergency shelter kits in Haiti. Also, the German Foreign Office has given more than $500,000 for emergency shelter kits.