PRESBYTERIAN DISASTER ASSISTANCE GRANT FOR HAITI WATER PURIFICATION PROJECTS
By Rick Jacobs
At the Haiti Pot Luck dinner on January12, the Haiti Water Team talked about receiving a grant of $50,000 from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) in Louisville, Kentucky and that some of those funds had been used to pay for the two water system installations that Bower Hill completed in November 2013.It might be helpful to provide some context for this grant so that congregation members understand what funds are available and how they are to be spent.
The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Fund was established by the Presbyterian Church in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. In the ensuing months, much of the funds were used to provide direct disaster relief to the people of Haiti, but there were still funds remaining for Haiti relief in 2012. Bower Hill proposed to Pittsburgh Presbytery that we submit a grant request to PDA for $50,000. It was necessary to go to Presbytery because all Haiti Disaster Assistance grant requests to PDA are required to be submitted by a Presbytery. The PDA Grant covers $10,000 of the total $25,000 cost of an installation, so it can be applied to a total of five installations. At this time there are only two churches in Pittsburgh Presbytery working on water projects in Haiti – Bower Hill Community Church and East Union Presbyterian Church.
Presbytery agreed to Bower Hill’s proposal so I wrote a grant request to PDA on behalf of Pittsburgh Presbytery and it was submitted by Presbytery to PDA in January 2013. Bower Hill was the only church mentioned in the grant application. In September 2013, Bower Hill received word from PDA that we had been awarded a grant for $50,000, and a check for that amount arrived about two weeks later (just in time for our installation trip to Haiti in November). Bower Hill spent $20,000 of the PDA grant money to partially cover expenses for the two systems (approx. $50,000) installed in November.
The remaining $30,000 has been designated for three more water systems in Haiti, but not necessarily for Bower Hill installations. Pittsburgh Presbytery’s intention in submitting the grant application to PDA was for funds to support all the churches. in the Presbytery that are working on Haiti water projects. They want some of the funds to be available for other churches. The Great Commission Team will decide at their January meeting about how to allocate the remaining $30,000. Bower Hill’s recommendation will be to leave $10,000 with our church and transfer the remaining $20,000 to Presbytery for use with other churches. East Union Presbyterian has already requested that these funds be allocated for installations that they have planned in 2014 and 2015.
When Bower Hill completes the transfer of $20,000 to Pittsburgh Presbytery, the balance in our Haiti Water Project fund will be approximately $42,000. This is about 75% of the amount needed to complete two more installations