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“The bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.” Exod. 3:2

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
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PDA is a member of act allianceInterAction logo

For more information:

Pamela Burdine
(800) 728-7228, x5839
Send email

Or write to
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

FAQ – Japan Earthquake and Tsunami

Updated March 15, 2011

  1. Our congregation would like to collect clothes, food, or supplies. How can we respond with material resources?
  2. How can I give a financial gift?
  3. How much of my donation will be used in the relief effort?
  4. How are funds being used?
  5. How can I volunteer?
  6. My company does match grant for gifts. Will my gift to PDA qualify for this program?
  7. How can I stay informed?
  8. Who are our partners in this response?

For information about mission coworkers in Japan, please visit the World Mission Japan page.


1. Our congregation would like to collect clothes, food or supplies. How can we respond with material resources?

Clothing, food, and other material aid from outside is not needed for the Japan response. A primary need for Japan at this time is gasoline and fuel to help with the distribution of the resources that Japan already has. To meet that need, your financial gifts will enable the Japanese to purchase this resource from their own economy and neighboring countries.

If you would like a hands-on project, PDA encourages individuals and congregations to assemble Gift of the Heart kits. Gift of the Heart hygiene kits are available through the pre-positioned supply already in the region and will be provided to Japan as requested.  There will be a need to replace those hygiene kits for future disasters, and congregations and individuals are encouraged to put these kits together to ensure they are available for immediate distribution when needs arise around the world.

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2. How can I give a financial gift?

In disaster situations the most pressing need is money. Financial support for relief efforts wherever disasters occur can be designated to DR000148.

Give to One Great Hour of Sharing, which supports the ministry of PDA.

Give online – make a secure online gift with your credit card for:

Give by phone – call PresbyTel toll-free at (800) 872-3283.

Give by check – through your local Presbyterian congregation, or mail to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Please include the designated giving account number DR000148 on your check to support disaster responses where needed, or DR000117 specifically for response to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

Additional ways to give.

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3. How much of my donation will be used in the relief effort?

A minimum of 95 percent of designated funds will be used to help those most in need. Up to five percent of your gift will be used to cover shared mission support costs associated with the processing and distribution of your gift.

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4. How are funds being used?

PDA will work with our ecumenical partner and local partners in this response to help with basic humanitarian relief needs. One Great Hour of Sharing funds have already been sent to begin meeting essential needs. Basic humanitarian support generally includes shelter, food, health and medical support, and water and sanitation assistance.

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5. How can I volunteer?

International volunteer opportunities in disaster settings are extremely rare and are usually limited to people with prior disaster experience and technical skills (such as health, engineering, etc).

For more information on international disaster volunteers visit the Center for International Disaster Information’s website.

PDA will keep a list of those interested in offering their specialized services, so that if/when we receive requests for volunteers, we can share that information. Please email your name, specialty, and contact information – especially your email address – to pda@pcusa.org.

PDA usually refers medical volunteers to Medical Benevolence Foundation.  While MBF does not have plans to send medical teams to Japan at this time, they will collect names of possible volunteers in case any requests are made by partner churches.  To register your interest, go to the MBF web site.  

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6. My company does match grant for gifts. Will my gift to PDA qualify for this program?

Yes, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation, is a federally recognized, tax exempt organization pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Its tax ID number is 13-3462549. Receipts will be issued for charitable contributions made to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation, for disaster-related or other mission work.

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7. How can I stay informed?

Please continue to check the PDA Web site for current and updated information. Sign up to receive PDA-RIN (Rapid Information Network) emails.

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8. Who are our partners in this response?

Though these disasters are still unfolding and we are continuing to assess the full scope and impact of the events, PDA is working ecumenically with Church World Service (CWS) and other local partners in Japan. “Building upon accumulated CWS and ACT Alliance experience in the region, CWS will mobilize support to Japanese NGOs that are on the ground,” says Mr. Komino, a staff member with CWS. “Contributions from partners and supporters will be used to fill critical gaps in meeting the basic needs of victims in and around the evacuation sites.”

PDA and World Mission are also reaching out to PC(USA)’s historic mission partners to confirm their conditions and capacities, and to determine if they are seeking support in responding to the needs of the people in their communities. As we assess such needs, we will strive to support our partners in their response efforts.

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In a One Great Hour of Sharing Joint Meeting, The PDA Advisory Committee will meet in conjunction with PHP Advisory Committee and the SDOP Steering Committee March 30 – April 1 at the Omni Royal Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. Discussions will include the work and vision of each department, long term Presbyterian involvement, issues and generative thinking.  A mission site tour will be made, followed individual committee meetings, and PHP will visit grant partner, Latino Farmer’s Cooperative of Louisiana.

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