2008 Spring Tornadoes and Floods in Central U.S.

Damage assessments and clean up have begun in Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa; while in Illinois and Missouri some communities are flooding and others are trying to hold back the waters by sandbagging.

United Church of Christ local churches in Iowa, Indiana and Wisconsin have received a total of $24,000 from the One Great Hour of Sharing special fund, 2008 tornadoes and floods.  These funds are to help with emergency needs for UCC families, food banks and UCC local churches.  As of this date, no reports have been received about further damages to UCC churches (see June 17 web article for churches with water damage).

 Eden UCC, Cedar Rapids, IA

Additionally, $25,849.60 was used to purchase personal protection equipment for home owners and volunteers in Indiana and Iowa who are beginning to clean out homes. 2000 pieces of each item have been sent to Indiana and Iowa.  Did you know?  --   $6.98 will purchase one each: Tyvek coverall with hood and boot, chemical splash goggle, nitrile glove, and N95 respirator.  This equipment will help to protect home owners and volunteers during clean up.  Personal protection equipment will also be needed in the other states that have been impacted.

The United Church of Christ, National Disaster Ministries is seeking $200,000 for the current response and long term recovery efforts.  Donations should be sent to the One Great Hour of Sharing special fund, "2008 Tornadoes and Floods." Donate Now

Ways you can help!!!
Volunteer Opportunities 
Read previous disaster alert

Until July 31, 2008 Only - Clean Up Buckets can be dropped off at
the Church World Service Office in Elkart:

Church World Service
28606 Phillips Street
Elkhart, IN 46515
Clean Up Buckets Urgently Needed by Church World Service 

To support our ecumenical commitment, $12,000 from One Great Hour of Sharing was sent to Church World Service to assist with shipping costs to provide communities with personal care kits, clean up kits, baby kits and blankets.

Among UCC members who were impacted by flood water, information received indicates damages ranging from "mop up" to "structural."  Noted here are some reports (note: names are not included to provide confidentiality for families):

- One family's home was structurally damaged by flood water. The basement walls have bowed significantly and we don't yet know if that home will be able to be repaired and restored. Basement contents were lost.

- One member's home was structurally damaged by flood water (buckled basement floor), but this was repaired and the member will be able to return to her home. Washer, dryer, furnace, freezer, and water heater lost.

- One member had significant damage to the basement contents from flood water and mud. Furnace and water heater were damaged and there will be wall-board to replace.

- One family had 26" of flood water in their basement. Basement contents were lost, as well as drywall and carpeting.

- One had major sewage in basement. Carpet, clothing, and other items stored in basement will need to be replaced.

- Some members of congregations earn their primary living through farming. Two have already reported significant erosion damage. One farmer estimates the crop loss at about 20% for this year.

Long term recovery committees are forming in communities impacted by the tornadoes and floods.  These committees will identify persons with unmet needs (no insurance, under-insured, insufficient assistance from FEMA or the State) to find ways to assist with repairing and rebuilding.  Volunteer work groups will be needed.  As opportunities for volunteers become available, they will be posted on the UCC web site.  Preliminary inquiries indicate that there are large numbers of families who do not have insurance and will need assistance with repairing/rebuilding their homes.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

1. Pray for people who live in communities affected by tornadoes and floods.

2.  To help those affected by disasters you may, send gifts payable to your congregation marked for "2008 Tornadoes and Floods" with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.

OR

3. Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion "2008 Tornadoes and Floods" to the Office for Global Sharing of Resources; Wider Church  Ministries; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.

OR

4. Make a secure on-line donation Donate Now 

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