Together in 2020

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What YOU helped accomplished in 2020

If you want to help grant a wish before 2020 ends, now is your chance!

To say the last twelve months have been challenging would be the understatement of the year. Millions have been sickened by the COVID-19 virus and many thousands have died. We have seen family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues devastated by the pandemic. 

Even if we have emerged unscathed, all of us are affected by the fallout of the virus. Perhaps you are working from home, if you are fortunate enough to have your job. Perhaps your kids are learning from their bedrooms, if they are fortunate enough to have the extra space. Perhaps you have given up some hobbies and picked up new ones, if you are fortunate enough to have the time and money.

Yes, 2020 has been a year of trials and traumas for nearly all of us. 

But somehow, against all odds, we rallied together to fight for those whose suffering is greater than our own. Here at ADRA, we continue to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus, and you have stuck with us through it all. 

Here is a breakdown of how you helped us salvage the wreckage of 2020 to make miracles happen for the most vulnerable among us, in America and abroad.

Together, we gave water to more than 685,000 people 

According to World Vision, 844 million people worldwide lack access to basic drinking water. For every ten people on the planet, more than one person is thirsty and can’t fix that. But together, we are fighting back. In light of the staggering odds, 685,000 people may seem like the proverbial ‘drop in the bucket,’ but each one of those people has a name and a story. 

Lung Thi Chien is one of those people. The young mother from a rural village in northern Vietnam has a baby girl to worry about, and clean drinking water used to be the worst of her worries. Not anymore. Thanks to a project to provide clean water in her village, ADRA is giving Lung Thi Chien, and others like her, one less reason to worry. 

“When the water was dirty, we were sick to our stomachs,” Lung Thi Chien said. “But clean water is good for my whole family.”

Together, we reached over 1 million signatures in the #EveryChildInSchool Petition

In 2019, ADRA and the Seventh-day Adventist Church launched a global campaign called “Every Child. Everywhere. In School.” The initial goal of the campaign was to gather one million signatures from people who agree that children everywhere should have an opportunity to receive a quality education. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, ADRA and the church did not give up on the social campaign. Instead, we took it online. With the hashtag #EveryChildInSchool, ADRA, the church, and our loyal supporters continued to gather signatures. Today, we have collected more than 1.3 million signatures from around the globe, which has laid the groundwork for the next phase of the campaign: to begin to work with local communities, governments, and policymakers to ensure that budgets and policies begin to change to reflect the goal of seeing every child, everywhere, in school. 

Together, we helped more than one million people gain better livelihoods

The word livelihood is often under appreciated. Clean water, improved nutrition, access to health care—these are concepts people readily understand. But improving livelihoods is every bit as important, if not more so. To improve one’s livelihood means you are helping to break down barriers, to provide opportunities, and to set a path for lifelong—even generational—success.

Just ask Juliet from Madagascar. The 49-year-old woman has learned just how far she, and her entire family, can go with a little support from ADRA and the other members of her Village Savings and Loan (VSL). A VSL is a community-based financial framework, just like a bank, that provides members the opportunity to learn, grow, and invest in themselves and each other. ADRA has used this successful model all around the world.

Before she partnered with ADRA, Juliet could be found in her meager garden, attempting to coax life from the drought-dry soil. Her kids could be found at home, wishing they could afford the books and uniforms for school.

All that has changed. Today, Juliet has a flock of chickens and six goats, three educated children, and a one-year plan to build a new house.

“My family’s life has really improved since we joined the VSL,” she said. Sometimes, it just takes a little nudge to set success in motion.

Together, we funded 422 projects responding to COVID-19, and served over 19 million people impacted by the pandemic

In the early months of 2020, ADRA and the Seventh-day Adventist Church began to respond to what was then a small epidemic. When COVID-19 shifted into a global pandemic, ADRA and the church adapted, too. Since then, our partnership with the church has created opportunities to fight the fallout of the virus in 96 countries, in which 70 percent of our 422 projects have been implemented hand-in-hand with the church. The ongoing responses have served 19.9 million people with a budget of US$25.9 million.

We couldn’t have done it without our wonderful supporters. At a time when every American felt fear and doubt for the future, and when many Americans were struggling financially, you stuck with us.

And we stuck with you. ADRA partnered with the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists to donate USD$4 million in personal protective equipment and medical supplies, as well as food and cash assistance to Adventist-run food pantries across the United States and Canada.

While it is true that our work often takes place beyond the borders of North America, this pandemic showed us that suffering does not exist in developing countries alone. We have our own brothers and sisters right here in America to care for, too.

Thank you for giving in 2020

Nobody knew what to expect when the pandemic began. Nobody knows what to expect now. But despite the uncertainty of the future, you gave. Despite the fear, you opened your hearts. Despite the human instinct to protect yourself, you protected others. And your generosity continues strong.

Thank you for making a difference in 2020. Thank you for changing lives. Together, we showed the world what can happen when Jesus is among us. Thank you for serving so all may live as God intended. For serving with justice, compassion, and love.

Thank you and may God bless you. Happy holidays, and a new year, too!

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About ADRA

The Adventist Development and Relief Agency is the international humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church serving in 118 countries. Its work empowers communities and changes lives around the globe by providing sustainable community development and disaster relief. ADRA’s purpose is to serve humanity so all may live as God intended.

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