UMCOR Responds to California Wildfires
NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2007—Wildfires fueled by the hot Santa Ana winds continue to consume large portions of Southern California, particularly heavily-populated areas surrounding San Diego and Los Angeles. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is in close contact with Bishop Mary Ann Swenson of the California-Pacific Annual Conference.
“In addition to an emergency grant to support the conference in its initial efforts, disaster response consultants are at the ready to provide the conference with their presence and guidance as needed,” says the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, head of UMCOR’s domestic disaster response.
Large Numbers Evacuated
Safety concerns have spurred the largest evacuation since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. Approximately 300,000 people have been warned to evacuate, some seeking shelter in the Qualcomm stadium in San Diego.
Pastors and congregations of five United Methodist Churches are among the evacuees, according to the San Diego District website. Several other United Methodist congregations remain closely affected although no known United Methodist Churches have been damaged by the fires as of yet.
“As always UMCOR offers its prayers and support to those in need,” says Sam Dixon, UMCOR’s chief executive. “We ask for your generous donations to the domestic disaster response advance as recent emergencies have depleted the funds we use to provide relief and support in disasters such as these.”
How You Can Help
Please uphold the people of Southern California in your prayers in the coming days as no relief from the Santa Ana winds is in sight.
Cash gifts will help provide for recovery. Checks can be mailed to UMCOR PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. Write “UMCOR Advance #901670, Domestic Disaster Response,” on the memo line of your check. One hundred percent of every donation to any appeal, including appeals for California wildfires, goes to support the designated program.