25 Years of Achievements – Charity Still Going Strong

<b>25 Years of Achievements – Charity Still Going Strong</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – One charity, Christian Relief Services, has been using community partnerships to fight poverty, not only in the United States, but all around the world. As the organization celebrates its 25th year of service, it’s clear that its philanthropy has made a notable difference in communities in the United States, Africa, Haiti and Lithuania to name a few.

Christian Relief’s efforts improved thousands of lives in 2009 alone. For example, Christian Relief teamed up with Bread and Water for Africa, to ship medical supplies, hygiene items, shoes, clothing, tools, and school supplies, including textbooks, all valued at over $9 million to partner organizations in Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone and Zambia. Christian Relief also supports sustainable grassroots programs in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and Cameroon.

Along with Americans Helping Americans (AHA), Christian Relief distributed over 1,000 pairs of new boots and 1,000 warm blankets to Appalachian children in West Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina in 2009. Since July 1, 2009, Christian Relief and AHA have also provided special food boxes to 8,995 individuals in the Appalachian region of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. For the holidays, Christian Relief gave Appalachian families over 10,000 whole turkeys and supplemental food, including fresh fruits, vegetables, bread and a dessert item. Christian Relief continued its support of service-enriched housing and community centers, as well as local affordable and transitional housing programs.

On American Indian reservations, Christian Relief worked with American Indian Youth Running Strong to distribute food and supplies to 12 American Indian-run church and community food banks and food pantries. In 2009, Christian Relief provided over 2 million pounds of food for over 29,000 individuals, as well as 32,000 holiday turkeys and 162,000 pounds of food for Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday meals.

Over 3,000 children received 5,000 new winter coats, 7,000 new blankets, 5,000 pairs of new shoes and school supplies. In addition, Christian Relief funded the construction of water wells, community gardens and emergency heating.

For more information, visit www.christianrelief.org.

Have You Seen America’s Hidden Third World?

When Americans imagine communities with dilapidated homes, barefoot children and starving adults, they might picture Third World countries. But over 23 million U.S. residents live in deep rural poverty.
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson launched his War on Poverty from Appalachia, a 1,000-mile stretch that goes from southern New York to northeast Mississippi. Although some communities have seen improvement since the 1960s, the economic boom of the 1990s did little to improve living conditions.
Appalachian unemployment and earnings rates still fall below the national average. Some areas still lack water and plumbing systems. While Appalachians can often afford their own homes – coal companies built houses, then sold them cheaply when they moved into new areas – few people can afford their upkeep.
Americans Helping Americans (AHA), a nonprofit organization that runs several relief projects in Appalachia, reports seeing homes without adequate roofs, walls and floors.
People moved into Appalachia when the coal mining industry thrived, but most coal mines have since moved West. Only 2 percent of Appalachia’s workforce still mines, and they face job-related health risks. Most people work in low-paid, unskilled sectors, where salaries cannot support living costs.
For children, rural poverty proves especially heartbreaking. Many Appalachian children grow up without adequate food, shelter or healthcare –  one in five Appalachian children grow up in poverty. And few doctors work in Appalachia, few residents have insurance or the means to pay medical fees. Simple toys prove beyond many families’ means – paying for home repairs or dental visits seems impossible.
For Appalachian children, simple donations, from teddy bears and blankets to school supplies and Christmas dinners, help encourage confidence and personal pride. AHA’s Bare Feet Program takes children to stores, where they can choose and buy their own shoes, just like any other child.
AHA also helps supply food and blankets, utilities and home repairs to struggling Appalachian families. Appalachians suffer a poorer standard of living than most Americans, but relief work can help families emerge from the nation’s hidden Third World. For more information, visit  www.helpingamericans.org.