Teaming Up to Help Honduras
World Compassion Network, Humanity & Hope United Foundation and Warsaw Community Church releas the following statement regarding the humanitarian crisis in the wake of Hurricanes Eta and Iota:
When Hurricane Mitch hit Honduras in 1998, Warsaw resident Joe Wilkey was at ground zero working the relief effort. Out of that experience and with the support of his home church, Warsaw Community Church (WCC), Wilkey founded World Compassion Network (WCN), a nonprofit disaster relief and missions organization. He continued the efforts in Honduras through annual mission trips to the country, developing further relationships. Two people deeply impacted by the WCN trips were Warsaw residents and WCC members, Riley Fuller and Josh Grill.
Fuller has gone on to become the founder and president of Humanity & Hope United Foundation (H&H) and Grill is the Missions at World Compassion Network (WCN) director.
Two decades after Hurricane Mitch, Honduras is once again in a state of emergency. Two hurricanes have hit the country in two weeks, and a humanitarian crisis is unfolding. H&H, WCC and WCN are partnering to raise awareness and support for the relief efforts.
“For both organizations and our church, this is deeply personal,” said Grill. “Those suffering aren’t just numbers; they represent close personal relationships; they are friends; they are family. WCN is currently focused on meeting people’s basic survival needs in Honduras: food, clothing, water and shelter. For the past two weeks, we have successfully sourced and distributed thousands of pounds of food and relief supplies. Floodwaters have cut off many communities and families haven’t eaten for days. We are focused on reaching them by boat, keeping them alive, and helping transition into recovery.”
With generous donations and partnerships, H&H has been able to open four shelters outside of San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The evacuation sites are currently serving 358 people, providing shelter, three meals per day, clean water and medical care. H&H staff have also been actively involved in rescue efforts, working with emergency personnel to help people seek shelter. As part of this effort Riley Fuller and Drew Scholl, a H&H board member, will travel to Honduras on Nov. 28 to support and encourage the Honduran team, assess the devastation, and continue to bring together organizations and resources to provide continued aid and relief throughout the operation.
“The Honduran public is stepping up in a big way. The people are warriors for each other. If we don’t step up, there will be millions of people without a home to go back to in countries that don’t have economic activity in the medium term that can support them,” said Fuller.
The WCN and H&H have strong local church support through Warsaw Community Church. Sam Peña is leading the partnership efforts at WCC and has designated a fund and developing a long-term plan for the relief efforts. “Operation Esperanza (Esperanza means “hope” in Spanish) will be a multi-phase, long-term effort to help the people in Honduras not only survive, but recover, rebuild, and thrive,” said Sam Peña. “Our partners have invested years in multiple communities, serving the Honduran people and we want to see that continue. We’re doing what we can here to make people aware of the humanitarian crisis developing in Central America and welcome any organizations or individuals who would like to partner with us.”
For more information or to donate, visit the Operation Esperanza page at: https://warsaw.cc/honduras Donations can be made online, through WCC’s church app, or by sending a check to Warsaw Community Church, 1855 S County Farm Road, Warsaw, Ind. 46580. Be sure to note “Operation Esperanza” in the memo. Funds raised will be allocated to the most urgent needs of the current phase of the relief, recovery and rebuilding plan.