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The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada is Canada’s largest Lutheran denomination with 182,077 baptized members in 624 congregations. It is a member of the Lutheran World Federation, the Canadian Council of Churches, and the World Council of Churches.

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A NEWS RELEASE
From Global Hunger and Development Appeal (GHDA)

GOVERNMENT MATCHING FUNDS IN PLACE FOR CLWR

Winnipeg, January 6, 2005 (ELCIC) -- Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR) received official notice today from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) that matching funds would be available for CLWR funds directed to the Asian earthquake/tsunami catastrophe. Jonathan Arnold, a Senior Program Officer for CIDA, said, "You are welcome to notify your constituency that funds raised will be matched by the government of Canada, and CIDA will post your organization's name on our website as an eligible organization."

CLWR is the international relief and development arm of the ELCIC, and of Lutheran Church Canada; 70% of regular, non-appeal GHDA offerings is forwarded to CLWR and 100% of funds designated for GHDA/CLWR special appeals is forwarded to CLWR. GHDA funds directed to 'Asia Earthquake Flooding' are eligible for CIDA matching.

The nature of the government matching restrictions means that this is very time-critical; the deadline presently laid down by CIDA is next Tuesday, January 11th. To meet the matching requirements, all cheques must be dated no later than 11 January, and mailed with a postmark also no later than 11 January 2005.

If funds proceed through the normal GHDA channels -- cash or cheque in the Sunday offering, congregational bank cheque to the Synod, cheque from the Synod to ELCIC-GHDA, and finally a cheque from ELCIC to CLWR -- meeting the deadline will be impossible for all the funds that people have already given so generously and for even more to come, and a great opportunity to double our giving will have been missed, and those in desperate need will have less.

In this extraordinary and unique situation, with such tight governmental restrictions for the matching funds, ELCIC members who have not already donated, and congregations which have not yet forwarded their funds already received, are asked to send everything directly to CLWR, and so make a concerted effort to comply with the law. This will maximize the potential for govenrnment matching funds and ensure the doubling of the gift.

Therefore, individuals are asked to make their cheques payable to 'CLWR' (Memo: Tsunami Response) and mail directly to:

CLWR - Tsunami Response
1080 Kingsbury Ave.
Winnipeg, MB
R2P 1W5

Donations may also be made online at www.clwr.org.

Congregational and synodical treasurers are asked also to send any funds on hand, designated already either for CLWR Tsunami Response or GHDA Asia Earthquake Flooding, or received this coming Sunday, 9 January 2005, directly to CLWR at the address above. All cheques should be payable to CLWR and dated no later than 11 January 2005 with a postmark of the same date. Clearly, this applies only to GHDA funds that are designated for the special appeal.

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