Air Force chapel community raises money for quake victims|
by Master Sgt. Amaani Lyle
Air Force Public Affairs Agency
6/13/2011 - WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- In the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan March 11, members of the Air Force Chaplain Corps on 43 installations helped raise more than $257,000 toward relief efforts for victims of the disaster, officials said here June 9.
On March 15, Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Cecil R. Richardson, the Air Force Chief of Chaplains, encouraged chapel community Airmen and their families to take designated offerings at worship services to assist the earthquake victims.
"The chapel community is made up of individuals whose compassion for others comes from dealing with challenges in their own lives and becoming more resilient as a result," Chaplain Richardson said. "In just six weeks, we received numerous donations, which we then gave to many different organizations such as the American Red Cross, Catholic Relief Services and Samaritan's Purse, to name a few."
Communities designated the donation recipients, offering a wide variety of organizations critical offerings, Chaplain Richardson said, adding that designated offerings at worship services are a standard.
"Just as an off-base worship community may 'tithe' to assist specific needs and initiatives, a chapel community regularly designates funds raised to be directed toward deserving organizations and events," he said. "An example would be when the chapel community takes a designated offering in the fall to assist the first sergeants in ensuring their base's Airmen have resources for the holidays."
Chaplain Richardson said most chapel communities will choose a number of organizations or events to support in their designated offerings. However, when a disaster strikes, whether in the U.S. or abroad, chapel communities step up in response to assist those who suffer from the ravages of disaster.
The chaplain noted overall that chapel community members are "generous in their response to others with their gifts of time, talent and treasure," adding that an awareness and compassion for others fuels the outpouring of support.
"The generosity of Airmen and their families has been and is a constant reminder that we do not live in isolation," Chaplain Richardson said. "It is because of this realization in one's life that we see the responsiveness of Airmen and their families to the needs of others."