Funded by a grant from the former Bauman Bible Telecasts of Washington, D.C., it was the first Web site created by Village Life Company, a not-for-profit communication service organization. The mission of the magazine was to "to provide objective clarity and a sense of hope to the news and provide an environment that encourages the open discussion of issues of interest to people of faith."
Relief Now! attempted to report the work of faith-based disaster response organizations in weekly journal; and verbatim interviews with well-known authors were featured as part of the bookstore.
In addition, the village included inspiring features, news of faith-based projects, a chat area, family entertainment including Contemporary Christian Music and video reviews as well as suggested religious travel destinations were included.
The first homepage for the site depicted a colorful and fun village sketched with icons of buildings or activities that viewers could click on to get to a directory of related subjects. For example, clicking on the Library, took visitors to the village bookstore; clicking on the newsstand, took visitors to news; the church housed faith-based news; the cafe included chat; a footpath, travel features; and the carousel included music and entertainment reviews. The full-screen, imagemap village was later modified to include timely news headlines.
The funding for the site was exhausted by late 1997 and site-specific news feature reporting was suspended at that time. The attempt to report faith-based disaster response news, however, was helpful in providing background for a study completed by Village Life Company for Church World Service in the fall of 1997. The results of that study lead to the creation of the Disaster News Network which is also produced by Village Life Company.
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