Outstanding Response to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma

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UPDATE: Our final shipment of buckets and health kits was put on a truck headed to the UMCOR Warehouse in November. At this time, we do NOT need additional buckets or supplies.

On August 28, churches were asked to make financial contributions to UMCOR for disaster response and to help “fill the truck!” The Nashville Area planned to send one 18-wheeler filled with cleaning buckets to the UMCOR warehouse for Hurricane Harvey survivors.

Congregations in the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences were quick to respond. Our wonderful connection of churches through conferences and districts was put into motion.

Over $35,000 was contributed to UMCOR by Tennessee Conference congregations during the past few weeks! Several churches contacted the conference office and asked to be bucket drop-off points. Trucks and trailers were offered by local companies and individuals. Feed America First and Opryland Hotel offered their loading docks for free.

And many buckets were filled. Tennessee Conference churches prepared 2,850 flood buckets in just two weeks! Hundreds of health kits were put together as well. Additional requested supplies also were donated including box fans, wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes, school kits, and more. The Memphis Conference received a similar outstanding response.

On the final drop-off date, September 11, there were enough buckets and additional requested supplies to fill THREE 18-wheeler semi-trucks – one out of Jackson, one out of Nashville, and one out of Murfreesboro!

Additional Response

Our Emergency Response Teams (ERT) prepared for deployment when we received invitations from the conferences affected by Hurricane Harvey. However, when Hurricane Irma hit, UMCOR asked them to wait. Texas and Louisiana have been blessed with an abundance of volunteers and UMCOR wants our teams to deploy to Florida when the conference there is ready to receive them.

The September ERT training class filled up quickly, so another will be scheduled soon. Please email DisasterResponse@tnumc.org if you want to participate in that emergency response training.

Also, several Tennessee Conference churches let us know that they want to continue cleaning bucket kit preparations to help in Florida. Bath Fitter in Nashville has offered a truck to deliver these buckets to the UMCOR warehouse later this month. Please let us know if your church wants to contribute cleaning buckets (DisasterResponse@tnumc.org). Drop off information will be sent out soon.

Financial donations are the fastest way to provide aid to the affected areas. Please give generously to UMCOR’s US Disaster Response Advance #901670. When you donate, 100% will go to help those in the affected areas in the U.S.