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Transylvania flood fund tops $275,000

U.S. Unitarian Universalist churches aid historic Transylvanian Unitarian communities.
By Donald E. Skinner

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The fund drive to help flood-stricken Unitarians in Transylvania has surpassed $275,000. An August flash flood, in a Romanian region with many Unitarian villages, killed four people, destroyed 10 houses and damaged 263 others. It also damaged 385 other buildings, destroyed 400 acres of grain and vegetables, killed several thousand chickens and other livestock, and damaged bridges. More than 340 families suffered some type of damage.

The fund drive, a joint effort by the Unitarian Universalist Partner Church Council and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, attracted contributions from individual UUs, their congregations, and international UU groups.

“We are just stunned at the generosity of Unitarian Universalists and others,” said Cathy Cordes, executive director of the Partner Church Council.

Already, Cordes said, two destroyed homes have been replaced and vouchers are being distributed so villagers can replace damaged kitchen and plumbing supplies and appliances. The voucher system was set up by ministers in Transylvania. Cordes said a work party from the United States will probably be organized for next summer.

Unitarianism has historic roots in Hungarian-speaking Transylvania, a remote mountainous area in northwest Romania, where many villages embraced the religion in the 16th century and practice it to this day.

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