People wanting to support the relief efforts in Haiti can do so by sending financial gifts to your local Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota location. LSS will collect and send the gifts to the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church of America) Disaster Response. LSS will not be able to accept in-kind gifts such as clothing and quilts because we do not have means to transport them.
The ELCA, through the Lutheran World Federation, is already responding to the critical needs of survivors in Haiti. Thankfully, the LWF offices and staff on the island were spared in the earthquake, making it possible for work to begin immediately. Staff in Haiti will focus their immediate efforts on issues of water safety and sanitation, assisting with medical triage, and providing emergency sheltering for the many who are now homeless. The ELCA has long-standing relationships in Haiti through several organizations and the Lutheran Church in Haiti.
In anticipation of a generous response, ELCA Disaster Response has authorized $250,000 for immediate relief assistance in Haiti, with the possibility for an additional $500,000 as the full scope of this disaster continues to become clear.
While volunteers, especially skilled workers, will likely be needed in the coming months, the situation on the ground is still far too chaotic—no water, no power, few roads, and very limited communication—to support volunteers traveling to the area in the immediate days.
Gifts can be made out to LSS or ELCA Disaster Response and sent to Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, 701 E. 41st Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57105. Write "Haiti Relief" in the memo line. To give electronically, links are provided on www.LssSd.org and Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota via Facebook.
The ELCA is a member of The Lutheran World Federation, a global communion of Christian churches in the Lutheran tradition. Founded in 1947 in Lund, Switzerland, LWF now has 140 churches in 79 countries all over the world representing 68.9 million Christians. The LWF acts on behalf of its member churches in areas of common interest such as ecumenical and interfaith relations, theology, humanitarian assistance, human rights, communications, and the various aspects of development of mission and development work.