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Gulf Coast Relief Fund tops $1 million

$1,005,731 given to UUA-UUSC hurricane relief fund; online technology played major role.
By Jane Greer
9.16.05

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UUA President William G. Sinkford

The Rev. William G. Sinkford announced that $1 million had been received for UUA-UUSC hurricane relief efforts. (Photo from the 2005 UUA General Assembly by Nancy Pierce) (Nancy Pierce)

Donors to the Gulf Coast Relief Fund established by the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee have set a new speed record in response to UUA President William G. Sinkford’s call for help.

“This outpouring of generosity from Unitarian Universalists and friends has both moved and heartened me,” Sinkford said in a statement released Friday. “As we struggle to make sense of the profound natural destruction and the crushing social failures we have witnessed, it is important that we shine a light on inspiring acts of faith such as these. Please know that each of your gifts matter and that your continued generosity will help to restore many lives.”

On Thursday, September 15, the fund topped $1 million, the first time in the UUA’s history that $1 million was raised in a two-week period, said Marcy Bailey-Adams, deputy director of Stewardship and Development for the UUA.

By the end of the day Thursday, 3,142 gifts totaling $1,005,731 had reached the UUA, Bailey-Adams said.

Online technology played a significant role. “Half of the money raised came in through online giving technology,” she said. “Another first is the fact that all the appeals for donations during this time have been made electronically, using the UUA website and email messages.”

“I’m incredibly thrilled by the generosity of UUs across the country,” said Terry Sweetser, vice president of Stewardship and Development and senior advisor to the president, “and amazed by how quickly we reached this goal—and the donations just keep coming.”

According to the seven-member panel appointed to distribute the funds, the money will be used “to address the needs of the most disadvantaged and marginalized communities in the affected areas as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods, and to support Unitarian Universalist congregations as they rebuild their ministries in the region of the hurricane.”

Christopher L. Walton contributed to this report.

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