Relief charity that aids in worldwide catastrophes needs help

December 22, 2011 2:05:18 AM PST
For years, a local organization has been able to help save lives around the world with something as simple as a shipping container. Now it is on life support and in need of aid.

The Christian Alliance gets recognized most often for its converted shipping containers, but it does a lot of food distribution work locally from its warehouse. They have lots of plans but not the people they need to make them happen.

Everyday, the Christian Alliance for Humanitarian Aid is able to move truckloads of food at home and during international catastrophes. Dozens of mobile clinics are created from converted shipping containers.

"It's a mobile doctor's office," said Jonathan Stokely, son of the group's founders Jess and Fran Stokely.

But despite the massive warehouse of goods, and the scope of the non-profit, it is all done with volunteers and they cant do it all.

"We support about 80 ministries," Jonathan said. "You have to have infrastructure for this, you have to have people who are paid and have the gifts and talents to carry out this mission."

Jess and Fran Stokely started the Christian Alliance with their own money 13 years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch. With the help of the Methodist church and tons of donations, they sent two shiploads of aid to Honduras and never looked back. The non-profit has responded to almost every disaster since.

Last year, they sent 13 mobile medical clinics to Haiti after the earthquake.

"That's the story of this ministry, it's glory to God," Jonathan said.

But a massive fire at their warehouse in 2006 is finally catching up to them. They had to let go of all staff. The Stokelys, now in their 70s, work every day for free because it's their mission. They don't complain and didn't want to be interviewed, but it's killing their son.

"To be honest, I don't know if this will be around next year. I'm going to get in trouble for saying that but the truth is the truth. We're really hurting. My parents have one car, they reverse mortgaged their house, they've done just about all they can do to keep this thing going and we need somebody to step up," Jonathan said.

So, yes, their son Jonathan is asking for help, specifically someone to sponsor an employee who can help them write grants, update a website or run the office.

"We've done a lot with a little and we've done it for years," he said.

That way, all burden doesn't fall on his parents and the Christian Alliance can survive.

"I just hope that the people who are able to give and want to see their money well used for the kingdom of God and to help people, this is the place," Jonathan said.

The Christian Alliance has sent aid to more than 50 countries. It gives out food every Saturday and during the week when requested.

To contact the group, visit their website

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