Helping Those Left Most Vulnerable by the Fires
NEW YORK, Nov. 5, 2007–The United Methodist Committee on Relief is working in San Diego County to help thousands affected by the late October wildfires to recover their lives and livelihoods. “While UMCOR will assist in reconstruction,” says the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, head of UMCOR’s domestic disaster response, “the primary focus of our work will be helping those who were left extremely vulnerable because of lost wages and jobs due to the fires.”
Many of these persons are agricultural and service industry employees who were unable to work during the fires and who, in some cases, have had their places of employment damaged or destroyed.
“A week or two without pay could be devastating to someone living paycheck-to-paycheck,” says Hazelwood. He anticipates programs similar to those in UMCOR’s September 11th response in that they will focus on those whose lives are severely affected by the economic loss.
“In the spirit of Jesus’ teaching in Mathew 25,” says Sam Dixon, UMCOR’s chief executive, “we will be intentional in seeking out those who have been left most vulnerable by the fires, regardless of their legal status.” Single paycheck families, uninsured or underinsured property owners, persons without health insurance, and those for whom English is their second language are among those Dixon named as groups that will be helped through UMCOR’s support.
One of UMCOR’s partners in this effort is Metro United Urban Methodist Ministries in San Diego. The two organizations previously worked together to provide assistance to Katrina survivors in the San Diego area.
How You Can Help
To give to UMCOR’s work in response to the California wildfires, please make out your check to UMCOR and mail it to UMCOR PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Write “UMCOR Advance #901670, Domestic Disaster Response, California Wildfires” on the memo line of your check.
Call 1-800-554-8583 to give over the telephone. One hundred percent of every donation to any appeal, including appeals for California wildfires, goes to support the designated program.