New Executive Joins UMCOR in Western
By Melissa Hinnen*
February 18, 2009—The Rev. Sam Dixon, the United Methodist Committee on Relief's (UMCOR) top executive, announced today that the Rev. Brian Diggs is joining the organization, directing the ministry of the newly opened Western Jurisdiction Office in Salt Lake City, Utah. "I am very happy that Brian is coming on board," said Rev. Dixon. "His ties to the community, experience with the United Methodist Church and commitment to UMCOR's values will be a great benefit to the organization as we expand our reach through the Western Jurisdiction office."
The Western Jurisdiction Office will primarily serve as a material resources depot to store UMCOR supply kits. The facility will provide new opportunities for kit ministry in the Western Jurisdiction and will help reduce shipping costs and efficiency when areas affected by disaster are in the western part of the US or in Asia. UMCOR supply kits help care for the most vulnerable people during times of crisis. They help sustain everyday life by providing basic necessities to people who lack ready access to essential supplies. Ms. Kathy Kraiza, executive of UMCOR Sager Brown in Baldwin, LA will oversee the operations of both depots.
Rev. Diggs is a life-long United Methodist and has served as the pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City for ten years. While there, he has helped develop urban and global outreach ministries. As he prepares to transition, he said, "I am so excited to be a part of what UMCOR is doing around the world and what we are about to begin here in Salt Lake City." He continued, "I believe that this depot will flourish given the strong commitment of United Methodists here and Utah and across the nation."
How to Help
The Western Jurisdiction Office is ready to put volunteers to work painting and cleaning as they prepare the 25,000 square foot warehouse for business. They expect to begin accepting kit donations in mid-March. Those interested in volunteering can contact Rev. Diggs by phone or email.
*Melissa Hinnen is the staff writer for UMCOR communications