The word “unprecedented” will always go hand-in-hand with the year 2020. From natural disasters to a pandemic that ravaged the world, the year was beyond challenging for people who were already struggling to survive.
Before you fully transition into 2021, take a few moments to look back over this historic year through some of the most powerful photos from 2020 and the stories behind them:
Responding to a global pandemic
On March 11, 2020, the coronavirus was declared a global pandemic. It upended lives in every way. Hospitals were overrun. People lost jobs. And, by the end of December, it had claimed 1.8 million lives.
Families who were already in need were hit especially hard by the fallout of the pandemic. Those left out of work because of lockdowns couldn’t afford even the most basic essentials. But thanks to the generosity of the World Help family and monthly supporters, over 100,000 people in 22 countries received food, clean water, medical care, and other lifesaving coronavirus relief. Our partners were also able to pray with people and share the Gospel as they passed out this aid.
Helping rebuild lives in Beirut
On August 4, Beirut, Lebanon was rocked with a deadly explosion. Afterward the bustling port town looked more like a warzone. Over 200 people were killed, and around 300,000 more were left homeless.
With the port destroyed and an ongoing economic crisis in the country, many families also couldn’t access food and other necessities. Even now, families are still struggling to rebuild and recover from the trauma. In the meantime, members of the World Help family have donated to help rebuild and restore homes and a local preschool for refugee children living in the city.
Rushing aid to disaster victims
2020 also saw some of the worst storms and natural disasters in recent history. In May, Cyclone Amphan battered India and Bangladesh, causing over $13 billion in damages. Rwanda also experienced terrible storms in May that resulted in mudslides and flooding which destroyed homes and took 72 lives. And torrential downpours in September caused landslides in Nepal that killed 12 people and left thousands more homeless.
In each instance, generous gifts from monthly supporters and donors made sure relief was on the way almost immediately to help families survive and to show them God’s love in the wake of these disasters.
Responding during a historic hurricane season
Last year’s hurricane season broke records with 30 named storms in a single season. Twelve made landfall in the U.S., including Hurricane Laura, which struck the Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane and claimed 77 lives. The most devastating storms of the year, though, were undeniably Hurricanes Eta and Iota.
Both Eta and Iota hit Central America within two weeks of each other in early November, washing out roads and trapping people in their villages with their destroyed homes. Thankfully, support from the World Help family allowed our partners to rush aid to families by boat and by helicopter.
Feeding starving families
Global hunger usually decreases a little bit each year. But in 2020, it went up … by a lot. Closed borders and a struggling global economy left many people without access to food. The number of starving children as much as tripled in some countries like Guatemala.
But each month, supporters made sure that starving children and families received the help they needed. When farmers couldn’t plant crops, the World Help family provided meals for their families. When the markets and stores were empty, it was generous donors who made sure people had food on their tables. Each bag of rice and each package of cooking supplies was a powerful, tangible example of Christ-like compassion.
No one knows yet what images and stories 2021 will bring. One thing is certain, though. YOU can be there for people when they need it most.
By becoming a monthly supporter, you will ensure that your gifts are ready to help immediately when disaster strikes or someone is in a desperate situation. Every month, you will provide lifesaving help and hope like food, clean water, clothing, medical care, Bibles, and more.
And when you look back this time next year at the photos from 2021, you will know that you played a part in helping people survive.
Click the button below to learn how to become a monthly supporter today.
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