Hurricane Harvey has been described, as “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, indicating a prolonged recovery process. The Category 4 Hurricane, which made initial landfall in Rockport, Texas on Friday, August 25, has caused at least 30 deaths, injured many, and has forced thousands of residents from their homes. 

The hurricane has now taken the form of a tropical storm, resulting in aggressive rainfall surpassing 50 inches over the next several days in parts of Texas and now Louisiana. Heavy rains and flooding are expected to last through Friday, with significant damages mainly deriving from the flooding.

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:
  1. 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.
  2. With the help your church or community, you can help supply hygiene kits and cleaning buckets (collection and distribution information available below). 
  3. 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.

Monetary Donations

Give a secure gift to UMCOR Disaster Relief online:
https://secure3.convio.net/gbgm/site/SPageNavigator/gbgm_donate.html?type=1001&project=901670
SHORT URL: http://bit.ly/2x5JczL
To give by mail:
Advance GCFA
P.O. Box 9068 
New York, NY 10087-9068
Please note in the memo line: Advance 901670

Cleaning Kit Collection

The following churches will be collecting UMCOR cleaning buckets and hygiene kits from now until September 24.

St. Lukes United Methodist Church
100 West 86th Street
Indianapolis, IN 46260
Deliver to Door 6
M-F 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (EST)

Methodist Temple
2109 Lincoln Ave.
Evansville, IN  47714
M-F 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (CST)

St. Joseph United Methodist Church
6004 Reed Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46835
M-TH 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., F 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (EST)

Christ United Methodist Church
3610 S 18th Street
Lafayette, IN 47909
M-F 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (EST)

Yorktown United Methodist Church
2301 S Broadway St
Yorktown, IN 47396
M-F 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (EST)

Brazil First United Methodist Church
201 N Meridian St
Brazil, IN 47834
M-Th 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (EST) (closed 12:00 p.m. to 1:00pm)
F 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Mishawaka First United Methodist Church
201 E Third Street
Mishawaka, IN 46544
M-F 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (EST) (closed 12:30 to 1:30pm)

Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church
2100 Highway 150
Floyds Knobs, IN 47119
M-Th 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., F 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (EST)

Dyer United Methodist Church
2016 Church Street
Dyer, IN 46311
M-Th 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. (CST)

Asbury United Methodist Church
1751 27th Street
Columbus, IN 47201
M-F 8:00 a.m.  - 3:30 p.m. (Closed 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.) (EST) 
 

Volunteer Opportunities

For UMCOR Early Response Teams (only those trained with badges):

The Rio Texas Conference is ready now for only ERT trained volunteers with badges. Given the severity of the situation and magnitude of their response needs, the Conference is currently not accepting volunteers who are NOT ERT certified. 

Register your ERT team here: https://riotexas.org/ert-volunteer-team-registration

The majority of the state of Texas is probably two weeks away from being able to accept ERT trained volunteers. 

Other Volunteers:

We encourage you to be patient. There will be plenty of opportunities to serve in the days, weeks, and years to come. At the moment, Texas is not yet ready to handle a lot of volunteers but check back regularly to stay updated on volunteer opportunities and recovery information.

For questions, please contact Allison Curts, Associate Director of Missions and Justice Ministries, at allison.curts@inumc.org, or (812) 236–1092