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Members of Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Los Angeles continue to pray and raise funds for relief and recovery efforts in Haiti after a 7-magnitude earthquake destroyed much of the already-shaky infrastructure in the island nation’s capital city of Port-au-Prince.

At Sunday services on Jan. 17, congregations all over the diocese issued pleas for contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development, a highly-rated aid agency of the wider Episcopal Church, to help provide immediate aid such as food, water and shelter for Hatians left homeless by the disaster.

All Saints by-the-Sea Church in Santa Barbara raised about $27,000 in its Sunday efforts, and All Saints Church, Pasadena, raised $16,000. Several diocesan schools are also raising funds, including St. Mark’s School, Upland. Many contributions have been made directly to Episcopal Relief & Development and other relief agencies by individuals. St. Cross Church, Hermosa Beach, reports that it raised some $2,000 on Sunday, but that many parishioners had already contributed online. Several congregations are planning future fundraisers for long-term relief efforts.

Episcopal Relief & Development is posting updated information on its website. It has also issued several suggestions on what would and not be helpful at this point in the crisis, including inquiries about gifts in kind and volunteering: its list of answers to such frequently asked questions is here.

Gifts earmarked for Episcopal Relief & Development (Haiti relief) may be sent payable to the Diocese of Los Angeles, P. O. Box 512164, Los Angeles, CA 90051, or made directly online through Episcopal Relief & Development’s secure website.

For continuing reports on the church’s response to the crisis, visit the Episcopal News Service website.

In addition, the Office of Public Affairs of the Episcopal Church has issued a warning that  fraudulent emails are circulating concerning donations for Haiti relief.

“It has come to our attention that someone purporting to be Bishop Jean Zaché Duracin might be sending out fraudulent emails in his name, asking for financial donations,” writes the Rev. Canon Dr. Charles Robertson, canon to the presiding bishop. “Please do not respond with funds unless you are absolutely certain that the sender is who he or she claims to be. At this time, the far safer way to support the people of Haiti is through Episcopal Relief & Development.

“It is sad that such times of great need often provide opportunities for deceitful persons to attempt to gain.Our goal is to ensure that the people of Haiti are supported in a secure manner,” Robertson wrote.

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How is your congregation responding to the Haiti crisis? Send your information to The Episcopal News at news@ladiocese.org for future reports.