5 trailer-size containers set to arrive in Puerto Rico on Thanksgiving Day
Allison Curts of INUMC Mission and Justice Ministries is the UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, Louisiana, seeing first-hand the high level of effort and precision that goes into orchestrating the shipment of relief supplies to areas that have been impacted by extreme weather conditions.
Teams of Conference Disaster Response Coordinators, UMCOR staff, and local volunteers have worked hard to pack 5 trailer-size containers with cleaning buckets and hygiene kits for the people of Puerto Rico, who are still in a state of desperation after being hit by Category 5 Hurricane Maria in mid-September. Maria blazed through the island with winds up to 175 mph, leaving residents without shelter, basic essentials, and power.
Before setting off on its journey, teams laid their hands on the containers and joined in a moment of prayer for the items and the lives they will touch. The items are estimated to arrive in Puerto Rico on Thanksgiving Day.
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.
Hurricane Relief Trip to Texas: December 2-9
St. Luke’s will be serving with United Methodist Temple in Port Arthur, TX December 2-9. Port Arthur experienced severe flooding during Hurricane Harvey. Work will include gutting homes, removing carpet and helping prepare homes to be renovated so relocated families may return home.
Please contact Al Dalton (firstname.lastname@example.org) by November 20 if you are interested in serving with the team. We will need cooks as well as relief workers.
5 things you can do
Early Response Team Training Classes:
Early Response Team Training Re-Certification Class — Jasper: October 31
Persons interested in becoming Recertified Early Response Team members can take this three hour training class, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT, October 31, which updates their credentials to be part of an UMCOR response team. The class will be held at Shiloh United Methodist Church, Jasper, IN. Cost is $20 per person. Registration deadline is October 27.
ERT Training Basic Certification Class - Columbia City: November 11
Persons interested in becoming Early Response Team members can take this one day training class which makes them eligible to be part of an UMCOR Early Response Team. The class will he held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, November 11, Columbia City United Methodist Church. Deadline for registration ends November 8.
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.