Churches prepare to aid Chile relief efforts

Posted by Cody Holyoke - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Watching the video from Chile delivers a gut wrenching sense of déjà vu.  Buildings are toppled.  Residents are looting in the streets. Others are homeless and looking for help.

"The highway is completely destroyed," said Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

"There are many areas where there are cracks and fractures. We are working to eliminate further risks since the earthquake."

As the death toll rises, government leaders deliver whatever relief is available while countries around the world wait for the go ahead to help.

Relief organizations are also waiting.  Parishioners at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church can't believe the news of a second earthquake in six weeks.

"After I heard about the catastrophe there, we prayed for them and prayed that they're okay," said Butch McPherson, Frazer's director of outreach.

Volunteers already have shipped off relief kits to Haiti--thanks in part to a huge amount of support from the public.

But the situation on the ground in Chile is a bit different.

"You're dealing with a country that does have some stability, versus Haiti--that's a third world country, with very little stability," McPherson said.

While it's too soon to tell what's needed, organizers say they're ready to give whatever they can.

"We're waiting to see what we can do, and once we know, we'll be there," McPherson explained.

If you'd like to help the efforts, you can.  Just text the word 'CHILE' to 23583.  That sends a $10 donation to Habitat for Humanity--which will be helping residents rebuild.

The American Red Cross has yet to set up a specific fund for Chile, but you can always donate to its general disaster relief fund.

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