ST. LOUIS — An emotionally charged evening at Urbana 12 that included the appearance of Shortie Khumalo, an AIDS victim caregiver from Swaziland, concluded with students in attendance assembling 32,000 caregiver kits ready to be shipped to Africa in about two hours.
The 16,000 youth at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship's triennial student missions conference were given a chance Saturday evening to write a short letter of encouragement to a caregiver before joining others on the Edwards Jones Dome floor. Once there, students filled a World Vision bag with items such as latex gloves, soap, and water purifying tablets.
"We wanted to provide the opportunity for the Urbana delegates to make a tangible effort that would shift their perspective to identifying with those in the margins of our world," said Nikki Toyama-Szeto, Urbana's program director. Toyama-Szeto called the event "historic." more >>
Members of a Fla. multi-campus church have raised over $600,000 over the span of 48 hours for the sake of charity.
Miami-Dade County-based Christ Fellowship Church raised the large sum during a two-day charity drive that began on Saturday, Dec. 15 and concluded Sunday, Dec. 16. Aimee Artiles, spokeswoman for Christ Fellowship, told The Christian Post that while this was not the first time the church had done a charity like this, the results were unprecedented.
"In October, we decided on $337,000 and to challenge our church to raise that amount to fund some opportunities with a nonprofit affiliated with our church, Caring for Miami, and to continue our work with the team we have in place in India," said Artiles. more >>
A New York State church has opted to help raise funds for victims of shootings like the one that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut by having parents return violent video games and toys.
All Saints Church, a Roman Catholic parish in Syracuse, began the charity with the hope of curbing the influence of violent entertainment upon American children.
Father Fred Daley, priest at All Saints, told local media that he hoped that if parents began to return violent toys and stopped buying them, then companies would eventually stop selling them. more >>
Residents and workers in the city of Costa Mesa in Orange County, Calif., may be experiencing a brighter Christmas season this year thanks to a local church that decided to shower its community with gifts of love and service for 25 days.
This past week, 25 school principals and vice principals in the local school district were given tickets to attend concerts, sporting events, and gift certificates for such services as massages and spa treatments. Last week, among the "25 Days of Christmas" giving opportunities for volunteers at The Crossing Church, mail carriers and trash truck drivers were given baskets of cookies.
At sober living homes in the area this week, gift baskets were delivered along with invitations to have Christmas dinner with church members. On another day, drivers in the city were randomly given $25 gas cards. more >>
At least 283 people have lost their lives after a massive typhoon hit southern Philippines on Tuesday, generating 75 mph winds and gusts of up to 93 mph.
Typhoon Bopha continued to wreak havoc on beach resorts and dive spots on Palawan Island on Wednesday, although Reuters reported it was weakening as it moved to the west. The southern island of Mindanao sustained the heaviest damage, triggering landslides and flooding in mining towns, farms and along the coastal region.
"Entire families were washed away," Interior Minister Manuel Roxas said, sharing that another 300 people were missing. Search and rescue efforts have been hampered by destroyed roads and collapsed bridges. more >>
The Indian government is starting in January a new cash transfer program to help its poorest citizens, with the hopes of reducing wide-scale corruption and making sure those who need the resources the most get them.
"Direct cash transfers, which are now becoming possible through the innovative use of technology and the spread of modern banking across the country, open the doors for eliminating waste, cutting down leakages and targeting beneficiaries better," said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The ambitious project is estimated to provide 40,000 rupees ($720 U.S. dollars) a year to poor households, which could make a big difference for a lot of people and help them get the food, animals and supplies they need to lift themselves out of poverty. The Wall Street Journal noted that the resources are expected to reach around 720 million people, and anyone who lives below or just above the national poverty line can qualify. more >>