Response to California Wildfires

From a Press Notice from American Baptist Home Mission Societies

American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), on behalf of American Baptist Churches USA,  has released additional One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Emergency Disaster-response grants in response to the California wildfires.

To aid in recovery from the Southern California fires, ABHMS has released $5,000 to American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles, Southwest and Hawaii (ABCOFLASH). To aid in recovery from the Northern California fires, ABHMS has released $14,000 to CrossWalk Community Church, Napa, and New Vintage Church, Santa Rosa.

On the fires’ first night, CrossWalk—which has been a Red Cross evacuation site for many years—sheltered everyone from those without means to affluent community members and tourists. For the next several weeks, they hosted up to 300 individuals nightly.

CrossWalk pastor the Rev. Dr. Peter R. Shaw notes that the church is now helping those who are usually forgotten—not those who have lost homes in the fires but those who lost wages or jobs in the vineyards, wineries or hospitality industry.  He recounts the story of one woman who received funds to cover her rent as well as store gift cards to buy personal hygiene items and groceries.

“That’s One Great Hour of Sharing,” he says. “We thank you for that. That’s churches stepping up and being generous. Those funds that have come in to help those survivors—that’s what we’re doing with it.”

Your prayers are appreciated for survivors, many of whom were forced to flee their homes with little other than the clothes on their backs. Many have no homes to which to return and have lost all their belongings. Your financial gifts will allow survivors to purchase necessities.

Donations can be made via your church; by visiting and clicking “Give Online” at the top right of the page – in the “Comments” section, type “OGHS-Ventura Fires” or “OGHS-No. CA Fires”; or check designated to either “OGHS-Ventura Fires” or “OGHS-No. CA Fires” and mailed to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA, 19482-0851.  One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs. To ensure that your church receives credit for your gift, write the church name on your check or, if giving online, in the “comment” box.

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