How you can help those impacted by Tropical Storm Harvey
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has been working intently throughout the past several days to effectively respond to the needs of those impacted by Tropical Storm Harvey, by issuing recovery grants to the Texas and Rio Texas Annual Conferences, as well as delivering cleaning kits to be distributed to those deprived of basic essentials.
UMCOR has organized a list of five things United Methodists and anyone else who may feel called to provide assistance, through a monetary donation, organizing relief kits, or through raising those impacted by Tropical Storm Harvey in prayer. The downloadable list and a bulletin insert can be found here: UMCOR responds to Harvey
If you wish to provide assistance to those affected by Tropical Storm Harvey, you can give in three ways:
Monetary donations are preferred right now, as monies are needed to help mobilize short and long-term recovery efforts, and provide aid for families that have been displaced or are incapacitated.
- With the help your church or community, you can help supply hygiene kits and cleaning buckets (collection and distribution information available below).
- UMCOR trained Early Response Teams are welcome to lend their efforts to help those who are experiencing immediate needs. Personnel must be trained and certified in emergency response procedures.
5 things you can do
Early Response Team Training Classes:
Early Response Team Training Re-Certification Class, Floyd Knobs, IN: September 14
Persons interested in becoming Re-Certified Early Response Team members can take a three hour training class which updates their credentials to be part of an UMCOR response team. The class will be held, Thursday, September 14, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Wesley Chapel UMC, Cost is $20 per attendee. Registration deadline is September 12.
Early Response Team Training Certification Class, Floyd Knobs, IN: September 15
Persons interested in becoming certified Early Response Team members can take this one-day training class which makes them eligible to be part of an UMCOR response team. The class will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Friday, September 15 CDT, Wesley Chapel UMC, Floyd Knobs, IN. Cost is $40 per attendee. Registration deadline is September 13.
Early Response Team Training Certification Class, Anderson, IN: September 30
An Early Response Team Certification class will be held Saturday, September 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., New Horizons UMC in Anderson, Indiana. Early Response Teams (ERT) are specially trained teams that offer assistance soon after disaster strikes. They generally do clean-up work and tasks required to stop further damage from being done, e.g. putting tarps on damaged roofs, mucking out flooded home. All members of an Early Response Team are required to complete a training course and must undergo a criminal background check. The training is done according to UMCOR guidelines and policies. Cost is $40 per person. Registration deadline is September 27.
Volunteer in Mission Training — Greenfield, IN: October 14
Volunteers in Mission Training helps individuals, teams and churches prepare for serving either in the local community or around the world. The training contains three elements focusing on 1) our calling to be missional, 2) best practices for building relationships, and 3) how to plan a quality mission experience. Participants will leave inspired and also equipped with practical resources to make your mission and outreach ministry more meaningful, organized, and life transforming.
This event will be held 9:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, October 14, Amity United Methodist Church in Greenfield, Indiana. Cost is $5.00 per attendee, with the optional purchase of a training toolkit for $25.00. Deadline for registration is October 9.
Early Response Team Training Certification Class — Evansville, IN: November 17
Persons interested in becoming Re-Certified Early Response Team members can take this three-hour training class which updates their credentials to be part of an UMCOR response team. Class will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday, November 17, Evansville Old North United Methodist Church. Cost is $20 per person. Registration deadline is November 13.
Early Response Team Training Certification Class — Newburgh: November 18
Persons interested in becoming certified Early Response Team members can take this one day training class which makes them eligible to be part of an UMCOR response team. The certification course will be held 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., November 18, Newburgh United Methodist Church. Cost is $40 per person. Registration deadline is November 13.
Disaster recovery begins with an Early Response Team
The mission of an Early Response Team is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of disaster.
The team is neither a first response group of emergency workers nor a recovery, rebuild or repair team. Rather, it fills a specific need in the early days after a disaster to establish the presence of the church.
It is important to understand that ERTs are trained primarily to respond within their own community. To travel to another district, conference or jurisdiction requires an invitation from that area's ERT coordinator.
All ERTs are trained by authorized UMCOR trainers and given badges by their own conference. All ERTs are encouraged to wear bright green T-shirts as a means of recognition.
Stay up-to-date on invitations to volunteer and scheduled trainings by subscribing to Mission and Social Advocacy e-newsletter - click here to subscribe.
For more information about UMCOR relief projects, click here.
For more information about the North Central Jurisdiction Volunteers In Mission, click here.