6 Christian Organizations Offering Relief amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

6 Christian Organizations Offering Relief amid the Coronavirus Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep across the world, with almost 750,000 confirmed cases worldwide as of Monday morning. Cases in the United States continue to skyrocket and Dr. Anthony Fauci estimates that as many as 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die from the disease. Amidst the suffering and pain caused by the disease, many churches and faith-based charities are stepping up to serve their neighbors through the crisis.

Here are six Christian organizations offering relief amid the coronavirus pandemic:

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Doble D

  • 1. Convoy of Hope

    1. Convoy of Hope

    Convoy of Hope identifies themselves as a “faith-based, nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s initiatives, community outreaches, and disaster response.” They strategically “Bring help and hope to those who are impoverished, hungry, and hurting.”

    Hal Donaldson, the President of Convoy of Hope, reported that they sent sixty truckloads of food and supplies to families in need over the last week. They also recently announced a national program to provide ten million meals to serve families who are suffering because of the coronavirus and the economic shutdown it has caused. The ministry is doing this by working with corporate partners who are providing pallets of food and supplies at discounted prices which Convoy of Hope then delivers and donates to communities in need.

    Over the weekend, as Christian Headlines previously reported, Grammy award-winning artists and prominent Chrisitan celebrities took part in a virtual concert from their respective homes to support Convoy of Hope's 10 Million Meals campaign.

    The show, called "TOGETHER: A Night of Hope," included split-screen performances from the respective homes of For King and Country’s frontmen Joel and Luke Smallbone as well as their six band members. Additionally, award-winning artist Kirk Franklin performed during the live stream and actor, author and television personality Kathie Lee Gifford made an appearance, Music Row reports.

    While the 43-minute concert was live-streamed Friday night, a recorded version, which has amassed more than 280,000 views, is available for viewing on the For King and Country YouTube channel.

    Photo courtesy: Convoy of Hope Facebook

  • 2. Lutheran World Relief

    2. Lutheran World Relief

    Lutheran World Relief announced they are going to focus most of their relief efforts on Africa. 

    LWR cites African nations' issues with low testing capacity and under-resourced health systems as a reason why Africa will need aid amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. The virus is beginning to spread in some larger cities in Africa and LWR predicts that it will spread to towns and villages soon. In addition, the organization anticipates that Africa will not receive the aid it would normally receive in this type of crisis because so many western governments are focused on eradicating COVID-19 in their own countries.

    "Normally the international community would parachute in with hospital tents, medical workers and planes full of supplies. That is unlikely to happen this time — at least not on a magnitude of what will be needed," the LWR website reads.

    "Africa’s underdeveloped health systems are going to be largely on their own, left to face the incredible burden of coronavirus on top of already unmet demands for skilled deliveries and care for malaria, tuberculosis, HIV, noncommunicable diseases and more."

    As such, LWR is going to work with local partners and Christian health missions in Africa to rush equipment and supplies to local health facilities. A major focus in this push will be getting personal protective equipment to keep everyone safe from the transmission of the coronavirus. In addition, they are going to work with local churches, schools, and community leaders “to educate families about coronavirus prevention, symptoms and treatment.” They will also help local leaders with contact tracing so they can prevent the movement of the disease.

    Photo courtesy: Lutheran World Relief Facebook

  • 3. North American Mission Board

    3. North American Mission Board

    The North American Mission Board is an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention focused on compassion ministry and church planting in North America. 

    According to the organization's website, last week, the NAMB donated more than 200,000 pieces of personal protection equipment to hospitals and health care workers through two different programs.

    Send Relief donated over 30,000 N95 masks and 45,520 PPEs and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) donated 142,000 masks and 11,000 PPEs.  In addition, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams at the state level have set up feeding units and provided meals to vulnerable populations. Other state Disaster Relief teams have set up shower units for medical workers.

    Additionally, Baptists On Mission, which the North Carolina SBDR team is a part of, donated 30,000 masks to hospitals across North Carolina. The group typically uses these masks during disaster response mission including flood recovery to protect from mold and in rebuilds.

    Reportedly the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regards SBDR teams as one of the United States' "largest providers of disaster relief, to several different state emergency management agencies as an organization that can provide wrap-around services, such as food preparation and delivery and spiritual and emotional care," the organization's website reads.

    Furthermore, Send Relief has also worked with 50 local churches in Puerto Rico to provide and distribute 50,000 meals for high-risk or vulnerable residents across the island. Puerto Rico has yet to begin widespread testing and the number of confirmed cases is expected to jump in the coming days.

    Photo courtesy: North American Mission Board

  • 4. Operation Blessing

    4. Operation Blessing

    Operation Blessing works to being “God’s hands and feet in the world.” They provide strategic relief to hurting communities in North America and around the world through disaster relief, medical care, clean water, and hunger relief. They also attempt to help the localities where they work build “sustainable solutions to combat poverty.”

    They recently delivered medical supplies to hospitals in Manilla, Philippines. They brought personal protective equipment, including shoe coverings, gowns, masks and gloves, as well as medical alcohol and soap. A local pastor also joins them at each distribution spot. He prays for the workers and for the COVID-19 patients in the hospital. They hope to deliver supplies to “20 hospitals in the coming days.”

    According to the organization's website, in the United States, Operation Blessing was also recently able to donate 1000 N95 masks to Sentara Hospitals, 1000 N95 masks to Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Virginia and give an additional 1000 N95 masks each to seven other local cities.

    Additionally, the group is working on acquiring buckets filled with cleaning supplies from the Home Depot to distribute to first responders in Hampton Roads, Florida, and Dallas areas.

    The OB Hunger strike force is also working to provide food for 12 Hub food pantry locations in Hampton Roads and working with nationwide distribution partners to provide food across the country. 

    Furthermore, OB is working to produce chlorine to distribute to the Mexican, Guatemalan, El Salvadorian and Puerto Rican governments and medical agencies.

    Photo courtesy: Operation Blessing Facebook

  • 5. Samaritan’s Purse

    5. Samaritan’s Purse

    Samaritan’s Purse, led by Franklin Graham, has been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis all over the world. The ministry, which exists to provide “spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world,” made headlines this week serving in both New York City and northern Italy.

    As Christian Headlines previously reported, Samaritan’s purse sent a plane with 20 tons of supplies to Italy. The plane carried masks, monitors, beds, tens, ventilators, and medicine, as well as a 68-bed emergency field hospital, 8 ICU beds, and 60 inpatient beds.

    In the United States, Samaritan’s Purse delivered four trailers of medical gear to New York City on Sunday and began setting up a field hospital in Central Park. 

    “People are dying from the coronavirus, hospitals are out of beds, and the medical staff are overwhelmed,” Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan's Purse said. 

    “We are deploying our Emergency Field Hospital to New York to help carry this burden. This is what Samaritan's Purse does—we respond in the middle of crises to help people in Jesus' Name. Please pray for our teams and for everyone around the world affected by the virus.”

    The field hospital will be comprised of 14 tents that will house 68 patients, including 10 ICU patients who will each have a ventilator. The hospital should be set up by Tuesday morning and will be staff by 70 health care workers who traveled to New York from around the country. Dr. Elliot Tenpenny, who has treated Ebola patients in Africa and Syrian refugees in Syria, will lead the medical team.

    Photo courtesy: Samaritan's Purse Facebook

  • 6. World Vision

    6. World Vision

    World Vision is “a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the root causes of injustice.” 

    They ramped up the distribution of protective equipment and supplies in Asia back in January. They placed teams in hard-hit areas to promote prevention behaviors, offering essential health advice, and engage government authorities during the crisis.

    Since World Vision operates in many of the world’s most vulnerable nations, they have chosen to focus their attention there. 

    “We are getting to an inflection point in a number of countries around the globe and expect to see cases mushroom over the next few weeks,” World Vision International’s head of Health and Nutrition Tom Davis asserted, according to the organization's website.

    “We need to help countries with weak health systems prepare as best they can and while they can for this tsunami of COVID-19 cases that will simultaneously hit multiple regions of the world. There’s no reason that we cannot both prepare high-income and lower-income countries,” he urged. 

    Relief work is underway in Afghanistan, Iraq, Haiti, Syria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. 

    Isabel Gomes, World Vision’s International Global Director of Humanitarian Operations, said that since the world relief organization has, “extensive experience in responding to disease outbreaks, including polio, Zika and Ebola, we are focusing on preventing transmission, supporting health responses, and caring for children made vulnerable by this crisis.”

    Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”

    Photo courtesy: World Vision International Facebook

    Scott Slayton writes at “One Degree to Another.”