New Windsor funnels vast aid to Russia

The small Carroll County town of New Windsor is now a crossroads for one of the largest American aid projects to the former Soviet Union.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief, the lead agency for the American church effort in a worldwide relief plan for the former Soviet Union, has overseen the shipment of about 26,000 boxes of basic foodstuffs since January.


Earl Griswold of Westminster, a United Methodist missions volunteer who is supervising the operation, expects to have shipped 75,000 boxes by May. Each box, weighing 40 pounds, contains rice, powdered milk, shortening, soup and other dry and canned goods.

The New Windsor Service Center, a Church of the Brethren relief center, is the East Coast shipping point for donations of food from all over the country. Mr. Griswold says some of the donations arrived by UPS and others by tractor-trailers hired by United Methodist organizations from far-flung states.


More than 1,000 volunteers from United Methodist and other churches in the metro area and far beyond have taken part in the inspection and packing of boxes in New Windsor, he says.

From there, the boxes are shipped from the Port of Baltimore to New York, then to Antwerp and on to St. Petersburg. After overland shipment to a Methodist agency warehouse in Moscow, the food is distributed by a Russian ecumenical organization to orphanages, hospitals, the homes of the elderly and other people in need.

AIDS service:

The Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore will hold a prayer service Sunday for people with AIDS and for others touched by the HIV infection. The service, the first of its kind in the archdiocese, fulfills a recommendation in a report last September, "Strangers and Aliens No Longer," that found several ways the archdiocese could strengthen its ministries to people with AIDS.

The archdiocese serves people with AIDS specifically through a social service outreach program and a house for infants with AIDS, as well as generally through shelters and other ministries. But the report says the archdiocese needed to raise its profile among people with AIDS. Among many other recommendations, advises parishes to hold similar prayer services and start support groups.

Archbishop William H. Keeler will conduct the prayer service and give the homily at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5300 N. Charles St.

Racial forum:

Several local Jewish organizations are sponsoring a forum next week on racial issues.


The panelists will include U.S. Rep. Kweisi Mfume, Karen Wilson, director of the Joint Conference of Christians and Jews, and Sol Goldstein, vice president of BL-EWS, the black-Jewish forum.

"Racism, Rhetoric and Reality: A Community Looks at Itself," is the second in a series of forums sponsored by the Jewish Community Center, Baltimore Board of Rabbis and other local Jewish organizations. The event is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. April 1 at the Jewish Community Center, 5700 Park Heights Ave.

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