The UMCOR Hotline
August 29, 2006
In Today's Hotline:
UMCOR has spent the last 12 months helping annual conferences establish their disaster response ministries that will continue for many years to come. Over the last year these ministries have included providing basic relief supplies like food, water, and shelter, in the months immediately following the hurricanes. They expanded to include regionally located storm centers that connect survivors with much-needed information and resources.
UMCOR, alongside annual conferences and other agencies, is now engaged in long term recovery. It is the long slow process of helping survivors through each step of recovery. Local case managers, hired by the annual conference and trained by UMCOR, reach out to community members who are most likely to fall through the cracks. UMCOR helps people like Miss Vicki, whose intention to help her neighbors before the storm resulted in more damage after it.
Miss Vicki told her friends and neighbors to park their cars in her front yard in Pascagoula, MS when Hurricane Katrina came ashore last August. It made sense—there were no trees in the yard or nearby to fall on any of the vehicles. The unexpected storm surge floated one of the large pick-ups parked in her yard and slammed it into the house with such force that it cracked the brick exterior. Miss Vicki and her family watched helplessly as over three feet of water filled the first floor of their house, ruining their possessions.
Now, with the help of the Mississippi Annual Conference, Miss Vicki welcomes volunteers who are helping clean up and rebuild her home.
"I just can't believe the way the churches have responded," Miss Vicki said. "If it wasn't for God and the churches, I don't know what I would have done."
Miss Vicki is just one of many who are helped though the UMCOR and annual conference partnership that is happening all along the Gulf to help individuals and families recover from the devastation of last year's storms.
Learn more about how UMCOR has been at work with 39 different agencies, including 7 annual conferences to bring recovery throughout the Gulf in today's release A Year and Counting: UMCOR and Katrina Recovery.
There is still much more to be done. Annual conferences report a drop in volunteers, yet volunteers will be needed in force for years to come. Contact your jurisdictional volunteer coordinator to find out more about scheduling groups or going as an individual. You can also give to help rebuild churches through the Katrina Church Recovery Bishop's Appeal.
United Methodists gave generously through relief supplies in response to the 2005 hurricanes. Approximately $7.8 million in bedding, mops, flood buckets, health kits, school kits and other items were donated to give some relief to hurricane survivors. You can learn more about UMCOR Sager Brown, the depot in Louisiana that warehouses and ships these important items to where they are most needed and how you can be a part of this important ministry in the newest church bulletin insert Relief Supplies: A Mission for Everyone.
UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, please visit umcor.org. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking on any of the "Give Now" links. UMCOR is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of the United States and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors.
And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.
BE SURE TO RECEIVE OUR HOTLINE EMAILS. MAKE UMCOR YOUR BUDDY! Some Internet Service Providers like AOL, Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Juno use email filtering software that allows you to add email addresses to a "buddy," "trusted," "safe," or approved list. Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your list so that our messages don't end up in "junk mail" or the "trash."