On September 1, Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas. By the time the storm had passed a day later, the destruction was immense. As of September 6, approximately 13,000 homes have been destroyed. An unknown number of lives have been lost, as search and rescue efforts are ongoing.

The need is great, and in the wake of such terrible loss, many feel compelled to help. However, knowing how to help can be difficult. The situation is challenging; and in these early days, much remains uncertain.

Week of Compassion has been in communication and is coordinating with partners, both domestic and international, in the response efforts. Given the close proximity of The Bahamas, several of our U.S. partners through National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster are deploying help. For now, damage to ports and airports have limited access to the islands. We remain in communication with these partners, and are preparing to support these efforts when appropriate. As always, the best way to help immediately after a disaster is to “Stay, Pray, and Give.”

Even at this early stage, we know that rebuilding needs in The Bahamas will continue for years to come. Financial gifts are the one type of support that will be helpful throughout the whole process as needs and priorities change. Through our wide network of partners, Week of Compassion can make your financial gifts reach farther– and do more good– than any other type of aid, by enabling those who specialize in immediate response to meet critical needs on the ground.

The majority of gifts, material and financial, come during and immediately after a disaster. But the work of recovery is long-term and ongoing. That’s why Week of Compassion is committed to support through both resources and relationships. Long after a disaster, we remain present in communities as they rebuild life and livelihood. We are already planning with international partners for the extensive recovery work ahead.

Thank you for your continued generosity to those affected by Hurricane Dorian, and other storms like it. Through your gifts to Week of Compassion, we serve and walk alongside those in great need– around the world, around the year.

If you would like to donate to Week of Compassion response efforts, place your donation (separate from your regular offering) in the offering plate on Sunday during worship, or mail it in to the church office. Please make checks payable to Hazelwood Christian Church, and be sure to write ‘Week of Compassion’ in the memo line.