(REDMOND, Wash. - Dec. 15, 2008) The Seattle Seahawks, the Holmgren family and Medical Teams International are teaming up to raise money to help deliver care and medicines to those suffering in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo.
Medical Teams volunteers will be at Qwest Field to collect donations during the Seahawks final home game of the season on December 21, 2008. Kathy Holmgren, wife of Seahawks Head Coach Mike Holmgren, and their daughters Calla, Jenny, Emily and Gretchen will help more than 100 volunteers with the collection effort.
Seahawks fans will be able to make a donation at various gate locations throughout the stadium, in Touchdown City and throughout the north parking lot. Volunteers will continue to collect donations through halftime.
"Sadly there has been very little coverage of the devastation taking place," said Kathy Holmgren. "I visited the Congo in 2006 and saw first hand evidence of brutality stemming from more than a decade of violence. We must do everything we can to aid these people whose lives have been destroyed by this conflict."
The on-going clash between government and rebel forces in the Democratic Republic of Congo is claiming the lives of nearly 45,000 people every month – half of those children. Experts are calling the fighting in Congo the deadliest conflict since World War II.
The fighting, which has been intermittent since 1994, has left 5.4 million people dead in the region. Most of the people have not died from war-related wounds, but from illnesses they could not get treated because of the fighting. In addition to the illnesses and deaths caused by the conflict, more than 250,000 people have been displaced in the areas around Goma.
With no end to the conflict in sight, Medical Teams International plans to continue to send volunteers and medicines to the war-ravaged region, but more support is needed. It takes $30 to help provide a survival pack to a family desperately trying to survive. 96% of all donations to Medical Teams International go directly to programs and services, including those in the Congo.
NOTE TO EDITORS AND PHOTOGRAPHERS: Please call Lee Keller at 206.799-3805 for interviews prior to the game or on game day.
Founded in 1979 as Northwest Medical Teams, Medical Teams International has deployed more the 1,900 volunteer teams and shipped more than $1.2 billion in antibiotics, surgical kits and lifesaving medicines to care for 35 million people in 100 countries.