South Georgia churches, organizations collect Tsunami relief money - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia churches, organizations collect Tsunami relief money

January 3, 2005

Albany-- It's been less than a week since the massive wave killed not only thousands of people, but the spirit of those who survived. As the death toll rises, people around the world are pitching in.

Although south Georgia is far away from the disaster, many are coming together to build up spirits across the world.

Within seconds, the Tsunami took more than 145,000 lives and destroyed almost everything in its path. "It's going to take billions of dollars and years for the people to recover," said Jim Johnson of the American Red Cross.

Many organizations will not be sending items to Asia, but monetary donations because of shipping expenses. Nationwide, the American Red Cross has already donated $30 million.

Here in south Georgia, churches like St. Teresa's Catholic Church in Albany started collecting on Sunday. "Our collection yesterday was twice as much as it would be on a normal collection, twice as much," said Father Barry Stanton.

They will send their donations to Catholic Relief Services.

First Baptist of Albany will send its collections to its International Mission Board. "Some of our Baptist churches in those areas that are hit are pulling resources together to build coffins for the use of burial of the dead bodies that are mounting," said Associate Pastor Rev. Keith Gaines.

The death number keeps rising, making the disaster fresh on people's minds, worldwide. "Obviously funds are going to be needed, if people can give, that's great, but everyone can pray," said Gaines.

Many churches dedicated yesterday's service to the Tsunami victims and survivors. The American Red Cross in Albany is also accepting relief money. The Albany chapter may have to send International Response team workers for damage assessment and mental health.

The Red Cross will also be involved in helping families find each other.

posted at 5:45PM by dave.miller@walb.com