By Robert Craig, Disaster Response Coordinator for Memphis and Tennessee
When communities around the world are devastated by natural disasters like Hurricane Dorian, the United Methodist Church responds. This is possible because the people called Methodist live out their faith in loving service to their neighbors, near and far. If you desire to aid neighbors in need due to disaster consider giving through these avenues.
Located on the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee On Relief) website, you will find ways to give financial support. Please consider making a financial donation to the domestic or international Advance located on this page. https://www.umcmission.org/umcor/give/how-to-give.
There are not yet requests for volunteer assistance for the areas impacted by Hurricane Dorian. This will take some time, particularly in the Bahamas. Please check the website for updates from UMCOR about ways to serve. https://www.umcmission.org/umcor/serve/international-disaster-response.
Keep in mind that many areas in the United States are still recovering from recent disasters. These communities include the East Coast, Gulf Coast, Midwest, and beyond. To locate disaster response ministry service opportunities follow this link. https://www.umcmission.org/umcor/serve/us-disaster-response.
One way to serve locally is in the collection, donation, and delivery of disaster relief supplies. Due to recent disasters throughout our region, the disaster supplies warehouse for our jurisdiction in Decatur, Alabama, is low on several items. This warehouse serves our conference as a part of the UMCOR network of disaster response warehouses. While cleaning kits (buckets) and hygiene kits are always needed, there are several supplies that are in great demand for disaster response ministry. They include:
– 20″ box fans
– 25′-50′ extension cords
– Heavy-duty tarps
– Square nose shovel
– 2-gallon garden sprayer
PARTNER WITH OTHER CHURCHES
There is not currently a Conference or Area-wide plan for consolidated supplies collection and delivery. However, local churches can partner together to make a delivery to the North Alabama Disaster Warehouse. Please call to arrange a drop off time with the warehouse leadership, (256) 341-9961. The warehouse is located at 3220 US-31, Decatur, Alabama 35603. The website is https://umdisasterwarehouse.com.
If it is a hardship for your local church to deliver the supplies you collect, I encourage churches to partner together in this ministry exercise. Please let me know if your church is seeking a partner or is willing to serve as a drop off point or has the means to deliver supplies to the warehouse.
The distance from our conference to the warehouse in Decatur is not very great and, this is a wonderful opportunity to see disaster response ministry in action. Volunteers also are always welcome to assist at the warehouse. Information about delivery and volunteer opportunities can be found on the website for the Decatur warehouse.
Again, the site for online donation or for the address to mail support for UMCOR is:https://www.umcmission.org/umcor/give/how-to-give.
To reach me, please email DisasterResponse@tnumc.org.