Sunday, February 24, 2008

Good news from Richmond, Indiana! - Sun 2/24/2008

New * the latest figure for the event is over $5,200 total.

Friends in Richmond, Indiana, gathered Sunday evening for a Pitch-In Supper, followed by a presentation and discussion to raise awareness and relief funds for Kenya's post-election crisis.

The event was a huge success, thanks to many volunteers who provided food and washed dishes, made donations, and participated in the discussion.

Each table had a copy of the Talking Points (see right sidebar for link to the text). Filling baskets on the tables, and bidding on a silent auction of three Kenyan baskets full of souvenirs and fabric from East Africa, the group of about 70 people doubled their stated goal of raising $1,000! This sum will be matched with a $2,000 grant by the meeting.

About $4,000 was raised for Friends United Meeting's "Kenya Relief Fund" by the end of the Richmond event!

Terri Johns of FUM announced that so far, in addition to this, Friends have donated over $70,000 for relief and reconciliation efforts in Kenya!

Several local Friends with experience in Kenya were present and able to participate in the discussion:

Benson Khamasi, Friends Theological College faculty member, currently pursuing his M.Div. at Earlham School of Religion, provided background on Kenya's presidential elections and the role of ethnicity in the conflict.

Terri Johns, Friends United Meeting staffer, gave an update on the situation for all the FUM field staff in East Africa.

Roland Kreager, Director of Right Sharing of World Resources, fielded questions on how Quakers are helping Kenyans to help themselves--providing assistance beyond relief efforts, with income generation and self-help projects, through microenterprise.

Mary Kay Rehard, former FUM Field Staff, showed some photos of the crisis, the peace conference and relief efforts, with general information about the crisis. Earlier in morning worship, Mary Kay spoke about how the current situation in Kenya is a "Kairos" moment, at once a crisis and opportunity for the nation of Kenya and for the global body of the Friends church (Quakers). Her message is now available at the West Richmond Friends Meeting website. Click here to view the text.

Many Friends asked interesting questions about the crisis and various Friends provided answers and feedback.

Friends from Earlham College and School of Religion--faculty, staff & students--and members of all three Quaker meetings were present. Staff from several Friends organizations took part--in addition to the ones mentioned above, FWCC's regional rep Susan Lee Barton was present.

Thanks to all Friends in North America who have donated relief funds for Kenya!

One third of the gifts will help with the rising costs of essential goods (food, fuel, medicine, etc.) at all of the FUM projects in Kenya.

The bulk of the relief funds, the other two thirds, will provide significant emergency aid to be distributed to IDPs (refugees) who are being cared for by Kenyan Quakers in local communities, schools, and churches--including food, blankets, essential medicines, and clothing--and enabling field staff to rent and fuel the trucks required to deliver the material aid.

Friends, thank you for your generosity!

And if you didn't have a chance to give yet, it's not too late to add your gift or plan an event in your area.

> Contributions can be made online by clicking here for FUM's website, or by sending a check earmarked for "Kenya Relief Fund" to:

Friends United Meeting
Global Ministries
101 Quaker Hill Drive
Richmond, IN 47374-1980 USA

If you have questions about how you can help, or if you need advice for organizing an event in your area, contact Terri Johns at FUM:
(765) 962-7573.

Let us know about your event so we can include it in the growing list on the right sidebar!

Friends in Kenya, our hearts are with you! Photos of the Richmond event will soon be available at the FUM website.

Be blessed!

Mary Kay Rehard

No comments: