Church World Services
Church World Services is an international outreach organization conceived in 1946 as a response to the devastation in the wake of World War II. Individuals from various Protestant, Anglican, and Orthodox faiths joined together in response to both a massive influx of refugees into the United States and an urgent need for non-governmental humanitarian work in the war-ravaged areas they fled. From the beginning, Church World Services operates on a different platform than many aid organizations. The organization has sought to do more than provide a “quick fix” for problems; rather, the aim has always been to train individuals to work with a long-term perspective on management of problems like hunger, poverty, disease, and injustice. Rather than simply being the recipients of service, people in need become active participants in creating better lives for themselves. Church World Services is at work in more than 80 countries worldwide and has been vigilant in its efforts to promote education, peace, and social justice. Church World Service’s local chapter is located on the third floor of the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, where it has operated for the last 20 years.
Nearly 35 percent of Church World Services’ funding comes from events like the Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty (CROP) Interfaith Hunger Walks, which take place several times a year down Main Street or the Boulevard. The marches have been a Richmond tradition for over 37 years. Another 25 percent comes from Church World Services’ member congregations and organizations. The remainder of funding comes from federal government support, individual donations, and investments. Church World Services Church works domestically for causes like disaster relief, by distribution disaster preparedness kits and hygiene kits, as well as working with Habitat for Humanity to repair homes destroyed by hurricanes like Katrina and Rita. Internationally, Church World Services has worked to empower indigenous peoples in Central and South America; has helped to establish sustainable farming practices, well-digging, and irrigation in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; has set up clinics and education centers and rebuilt schools in nations overwhelmed by conflict; and is working with other environmental organizations to lay the foundation for facing the issue of climate change. Church World Services is best known for its Immigrant and Refugee Programs that have resettled nearly 400,000 people over the last sixty years.
Churchf World Services
(Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church)
1627 Monument Avenue
Richmond , VA 23220
Interview with Director
2007 Annual Report
Profile prepared by Chrissie L. Griffith