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TBN Aid to New Orleans
TBN Partners With Friend Ships to Bring Aid to New Orleans Area
Christian Humanitarian Group Sails With Crucial Relief for Refugees of Katrina
Sept. 6, 2005 (Los Angeles) – As the scenes of devastation, suffering, and chaos in New Orleans continue to dominate the news nationwide, Trinity Broadcasting Network is partnering with the Christian humanitarian agency Friend Ships to take crucial assistance to the thousand of individuals and families now in desperate need in the area. The group's 180- foot cutter, appropriately named the Hope, sailed out of Friend Ships' port of operation in Lake Charles, Louisiana on Sept. 5th, headed for Gretna, Louisiana situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River across from New Orleans.
"We've been given special permission from the Coast Guard to sail with supplies to areas that are still closed to regular traffic," explains Don Tipton, founder and director of Friend Ships. "We received a special invitation from the Mayor of Gretna, and our ship Hope is sailing with food, water and other needed supplies."
TBN founders Paul and Jan Crouch authorized a gift of $100,000 specifically for Friend Ships' effort, and are urging viewers and others around the world to answer God's call to reach out to Katrina's victims. "This is the heart of the gospel, to reach out and help the hurting in their time of need," says Paul. "We have a real opportunity here to put our faith in action."
Bestselling author an inspirational speaker Tommy Tenney, whose own ministry is based in Louisiana, is also coordinating pastors, churches, and individuals to partner with Friend Ship's efforts. "The Church and Christians need to lead the way in reaching out to these hurting people right now," challenges Tenney. "We have the resources and we've been commissioned by God for this purpose."
Tipton says that once the Hope docks at Gretna, the ministry's Bell JetRanger helicopter, also donated by TBN, will be used to help fly in volunteer personnel and supplies. "Our helicopter has been granted permission to fly and we're receiving offers from across the country of wonderful donated items to give out," he explains.
Tipton explains that in addition to gifts of money which will be used for supplies, Friend Ships is accepting a wide variety of donations, including new and gently used clothing, bottled water, rice, beans, and other food supplies, as well as roofing nails, hammers, and other tools volunteers are using to put emergency roofs on houses damaged by the storm. For a completer listing of needed items visit www.friendships.org/hurricane.
"There are around 20,000 people in Gretna alone who have not evacuated," says Tipton. "We're taking in ready-to-eat meals, mobile kitchens, food, water, building materials – everything these people desperately need right now."
He explains that approximately 120 Friend Ships volunteers will be going through the city of Gretna, distributing supplies and doing emergency repairs to homes that sustained damage. "We've been given thousands of feet of emergency roofing, and our teams will be going from house to house measuring and making the repairs," he explains. "Each roof takes just a few minutes to complete and this industrial roofing has a 30-year life."
TBN is also sending 10,000 Bibles for distribution to affected areas, and Jan Crouch is arranging to have over 85,000 dolls and other toys shipped for children whose families have lost everything. "TBN is all about being a conduit for God's mercy and love," says Jan. "That's not limited to our programming – but in everything we set our hands to do. Right now it's reaching out to the thousands of people and families devastated by Hurricane Katrina."
To view a complete list of needed supplies and to donate to Friend Ships relief effort, visit. You can also reach them by phone at 337-433-5022.
For more information about TBN visit www.tbn.org.
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