AUSTIN - December 2, 2015 - In response to an overwhelming number of Syrian refugees flooding into Europe and through a generous gift from the Baugh Foundation, the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering sent $15,000 to Serbia on Tuesday, Dec. 1, to provide aid for refugee relief.
The funds will be used by Baptist partners in Serbia for food, transportation, hygienic materials, shoes, waterproof jackets and other supplies for refugees. Currently, partners are assisting approximately 2,000 refugees a day through volunteer efforts and donations.
When the refugee crisis began to impact Europe in September, the Christian Life Commission staff contacted the European Baptist Federation for ways to respond. The CLC staff hoped to put $15,000 in Hunger Offering funds into the project, but did not have funds available for the above-budget effort. Within 48 hours of contacting the Baugh Foundation for assistance, the foundation agreed to fund the project.
"When we found out about the opportunity to give to this worldwide crisis through the Hunger Offering, we were so glad to do so," said Jackie Baugh Moore, vice president of the Baugh Foundation. "This is a great chance for Texas Baptists to give to support our brothers and sisters in Europe as they provide aid to those in great need."
Although the foundation had already appropriated all of their funds to projects for 2015, when they heard about partnering with European Baptists to help through the Hunger Offering, they found funds from next year to help. The urgency of the situation and extreme need for assistance were motivating factors in their response, Moore said.
"The Baugh Foundation and the Baugh family have a deep passion for the work of Texas and international Baptists," said Ferrell Foster, associate director of the CLC and director of ethics and justice. "CLC commissioners and staff are thrilled to help make this connection between the Baugh Foundation and the need of refugees in Europe."
The CLC identified the specific need, and the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering had the mechanism in place for moving funds internationally. The Hunger Offering has supplied another $21,000 for refugee relief in Lebanon this year, but this additional gift enables help in Europe. Additional funds through the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering will be sent to refugee relief in Lebanon in 2016."As we approach Christmas and the end of the year, I pray more and more Texas Baptists will give to the Hunger Offering to meet the vast needs around the world," said Foster.