As most of you are aware, natural disasters have brought great destruction and devastation to many parts of the world.
Hurricanes and fires have disrupted the lives of many. In events such as these, our hearts break for the survivors and creates in us a desire to help.
Our first call, as people of faith, is to pray. UMC Discipleship has prayer and worship resources to use at home and in your faith communities. Click here for more.
We also know that the steady stream of news, meant to inform us of the great needs, also fosters in us a sense of urgency to send items to bring relief to those who are hurting.
Often this information becomes misleading and what we in the disaster relief world call “the second disaster” occurs. The second disaster is when a community or region gets overwhelmed with donated goods creating a new area of chaos and confusion for those who are trying to help others find some sense of normal. With this, I wanted to send a message to help you to be able to help others.
We ask that you please do not send items directly into the affected areas. Often these areas are not equipped or do not have the means to receive or manage donated items.
Sue and I, the West Virginia Conference Disaster Response Co-Coordinators, are on conference calls with UMCOR and the Conference Disaster Response Coordinators in each of the affected areas. During these calls, each shares the needs of their communities and where these needed items can be sent.
Please, before you collect items for the relief effort contact either Sue Lowther at 304-642-0896 or Dan Lowther at 304-642-0897 to find what is needed and where it is needed.
We do know that a great need is Flood/Cleaning buckets and Hygiene Kits. These have been distributed in the affected areas, and more will be needed. In some cases these will be used to replenish UMCOR’s depleted stock to prepare for the next event.
Instructions for building relief supply kits may be found by following this link. http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies.
Once your group has assembled the kits please make arrangements with Sue Lowther at 304-642-0896 or Dan Lowther at 304-642-0897, to deliver them to New Vision Depot in Beaver, WV.
New Vision Depot is working with UMCOR’s relief supply system to get supplies directly where they are most needed, quickly and efficiently.
If a congregation or individual would prefer to make monetary donations, instead of building kits, you may donate toward the purchase of supplies so that kits may be made at New Vision Depot making the donation payable to UMCOR or the Conference Treasurer following instructions in following paragraphs..
Monetary donations may also be made to UMCOR to be able to purchase what is needed in the affected areas to help others. Remember, 100% of what you give to UMCOR goes directly to help survivors. Click here to give an online donation directly to UMCOR.
Please help us to lessen the chaos so that we may better assist those who are in need. If you have any questions don’t hesitate to give us a call. Thank you.
WV Conference Disaster Response Co-Coordinator