Hundreds in the US Need Post-Disaster Help
NEW YORK, NY, JULY 10, 2007—Over the last two months floodwaters have inundated significant areas of Texas and Kansas, leaving thousands of people wondering how they are going to recover. Many Midwest communities are cleaning up tornado-ravaged sections of their states. Residents in northern California have begun the long walk back from forest fire damage around Lake Tahoe, where many service workers without insurance are now homeless.
"Although we are not reading or hearing about these disasters every day in the news, there are hundreds of people in dire need in Texas, Kansas, California and many other places in the US," said the Rev. Sam W. Dixon, interim executive for United Methodist Committee on Relief. UMCOR is the denomination's disaster response and humanitarian aid agency within the General Board of Global Ministries
UMCOR grants are already at work in several regions of the United States beset with record-breaking rains, fires and winds. But after two years of unprecedented donations designated for hurricane recovery, UMCOR is scrambling to provide long-term disaster response funding for domestic needs.
The agency uses all designated donations in the programs specified by donors. "Our Domestic Disaster Response Advance has been tapped for 28 US emergencies in 24 different annual conferences since September of 2006," said the Rev. Dixon. "UMCOR has delivered $856,146 in both emergency grants and long-term recovery initiatives in that time," he said.
Agency executives anticipate additional requests, especially since in many of the affected areas the initial phase of response is nearing an end and the recovery phase is beginning. "We are profoundly thankful to United Methodists who have given so generously in the past. But now the need is threatening to outpace the resources," said Rev. Dixon. "We pray we can count on gifts to replenish this fund so that the church can continue to respond in a generous and timely way."
UMCOR is offering a new bulletin insert online for churches that wish to lift disaster response in their worship services in coming Sundays. Emergency offering envelopes are available free for postage and handling from the E-Store.
Donors wishing to contribute to the church's ongoing ministry of disaster response and recovery may mail a check payable to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087, indicating Domestic Disaster Response Advance #901670 on the memo line.