Anna Kresge seek­ing aid do­na­tions for Venezuela Now

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - Staff re­ports

Anna Kresge United Methodist Church is hop­ing the com­mu­nity will pro­vide bless­ings in an ef­fort to aid the peo­ple of Venezuela dur­ing their long­stand­ing hard­ships through­out the South Amer­i­can na­tion.

The church plans to send supplied they col­lected through the Len­ten sea­son that in­clude food, medicine, med­i­cal sup­plies, vi­ta­mins and in­fant for­mula to the Wes­ley Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Cabu­dare in Venezuela, lo­cated south­east out­side the city of Bar­quisimeto. The area alone is home to more than 880,000 peo­ple.

It’s an ef­fort needed to help the coun­try of more than 31 mil­lion peo­ple who are in the mid­dle of a grow­ing cri­sis over rule of the coun­try between strongman Pres­i­dent Ni­colás Maduro who still con­trols the gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary, and op­po­si­tion Pres­i­dent Juan Guaidó, who is rec­og­nized by many coun­tries in­ter­na­tion­ally as the le­git­i­mate ruler.

The po­lit­i­cal cri­sis is just the tip of the ice­berg for the peo­ple of Venezuela, who have faced short­ages of the ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties of life amid a col­laps­ing econ­omy and hyper-inflation. Which is now so bad that ac­cord­ing to CNBC re­ports late last week, the coun­try planned to is­sue new cur­rency de­nom­i­na­tions start­ing at 10,000 bo­li­vars up to 50,000 bo­li­vars with the high­est new note around the equiv­a­lent of $8.13.

That hor­ri­ble inflation comes as eco­nomic out­put has dropped year over year in the past four years by dou­ble digit per­cent­age points, and that peo­ple can no longer af­ford food and have caused se­ri­ous de­ple­tion of nu­tri­tion rates within the coun­try. So bad that some Venezuelan­s have re­port­edly lost 20 or more pounds in their weight and on av­er­age eat only a sin­gle meal daily. Con­tribut­ing to mal­nu­tri­tion through­out the na­tion.

None of that is helped by a hospi­tal sys­tem that has lit­tle or no medicine or sup­plies left to sup­port the pop­u­la­tion, and build­ings and equip­ment that are fall­ing apart, the church said in a state­ment.

Con­di­tions in Venezuela have forced some 2 mil­lion of its ci­ti­zens to flee for help and safety in South Amer­i­can neigh­bor­ing coun­tries over the last two years.

“De­spite all these prob­lems, the evan­gel­i­cal church is grow­ing faster than in any other coun­try in the western hemi­sphere,” Anna Kresge UMC or­ga­niz­ers re­ported.

The hopes of Anna Kresge UMC mem­bers is to get sup­plies to the hospi­tal with­out de­lay and pro­vide much needed aid. They are ask­ing for bless­ings from the com­mu­nity as a whole on a crate that will be packed and filled dur­ing the June 23 wor­ship ser­vices com­ing up.

Anna Kresge UMC vol­un­teers are send­ing the crate of sup­plies out on the fol­low­ing day, June 24.

“We ask the com­mu­nity to join our prayers for the safe trans­fer of the ma­te­ri­als to those who need them and seek to help the peo­ple of Venezuela,” Anna Kresge UMC or­ga­niz­ers wrote in a state­ment.

Those who want to help ahead of their plans to ship off sup­plies can con­tact the church at 770-748-4308.

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