Updated 9/7/2017, 9/20/2017
The news reports from Texas, the Carribean, and Florida continue to give us reason to pause. Hurricane season is in full force. Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria are impacting millions of individuals. Natural disasters are impacting people around the globe. People in Sierra Leone have experienced torrential rains, mudslides. In each of these disasters families and individuals have been displaced, homes have been destroyed, and life has been lost. In the midst of any natural disaster, we can wonder, “what can I do?”
It is easy to get overwhelmed by information.
It is even easier to forget after a couple weeks the needs of people hundreds and thousands of miles away. The recovery will continue for many years.
As Hurricane Harvey stalled over Texas and moves through the Gulf Coast as a tropical depression, it left a path of devastation and destruction. Irma left a catastrophic path as it moved through the Caribbean, heading toward Florida. The people of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina continue to respond to the impact of the storm, even as the people of Puerto Rico and the Carribean are feeling the impact of Maria. Below are a few ways you can help in the short-term and long-term.
Hurricane season in the Atlantic does not end until late November. Anyone else remember a season like this where you could name at least four major hurricanes? Add to that the devastation from earthquakes, fires, and landslides. Help is needed in many places around the world.
How can you help?
Jesus reminds us to be people who embody compassion to our neighbors near and far.
Pray for people who are displaced. Pray for individuals and families experiencing loss of homes, neighbors, friends, and stability. Hold in prayer those who are responding. They are tangible signs of hope and restoration. The rescue and recovery work is always changing and can be taxing. Pray for the church as we utilize our connection to respond in ways that embody the mercy and compassion of Christ.
Second, make a financial donation to UMCOR.
Your gift will help respond to the needs generated by Hurricane Harvey. One hundred percent of your gift goes to support disaster response. No gift is too small.
Give online to UMCOR US Disaster Response, Advance #901670
Give online to UMCOR International Disaster Response, #982450
Or mail to:
PO Box 9068
New York, NY 10087-9068
Note: Advance #901670 for US Disaster Response, Note Advance #982450 for International Disaster Response
Third, you can make relief kits – the need remains!
Your family, small group, or neighbors can make relief kits. You can also invite your congregation to bring items to create kits together.
Once your kit(s) are assembled, ship or deliver the kits.
- Completed kits can be dropped off starting September 5, Monday– Friday 9 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 4 pm at Northridge UMC, 4610 Derr Road, Springfield, OH.
- The truck will depart when filled, no later than September 22, 2017.
- A second drop-off location is in the works if you can’t meet the above deadline. Cleaning Buckets and Hygiene Kits are needed.
- If you are not able to make kits, you may also give to the Material Resources Advance Special,#901440. You can give through your local church, or give online.
- You can also ship the kits to the depot. Download and use this label to ship your kit.
Fourth, Prepare to Lead a Team in Service
Organization of relief and recovery efforts can take weeks, if not months.When the possibility opens up to serve, you will want a trained leader to coordinate your experience. If you are interested in leading a team, when the annual conferences are prepared to receive volunteers, attend a Volunteers in Mission (VIM) Team Leader Training.
- October 7, 2017 at Circleville Community United Methodist Church
- Register for this class.
Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and caring for those who have been impacted by natural disasters.
Stay up to date with new developments and ways to respond at umcor.org