May 15, 2011
Devastating storms Wednesday spawned deadly tornadoes that moved across Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. UCC churches in the Southeast Conference are providing immediate relief in their communities to those in need of food and water.
The UCC Southeast Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, working with the Conference Minister, has been checking on UCC members and church facilities and will provide more information as it becomes available. At this time, reports indicate no damage to church facilities, however, several UCC members have damage to, or have lost their homes.
The United Church of Christ’s Disaster Ministries anticipates participating in an ecumenical effort to assist people to repair and rebuild homes.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared four northwestern counties disaster areas after storms and tornadoes blew through the area. Governors of Mississippi and Alabama also declared disaster areas, emergency management officials said.
In Alabama, the National Guard dispatched hundreds of personnel to some of the state's hardest hit areas.
President Barack Obama announced late Wednesday he approved Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's request for emergency federal assistance, including search and rescue support.
"While we may not know the extent of the damage for days, we will continue to monitor these severe storms across the country and stand ready to continue to help the people of Alabama and all citizens affected by these storms," Obama said in a statement. Most of the 154 tornado sightings reported to the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., were from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Tennessee, AccuWeather.com reported.
How you can help
1. Pray for people who live in communities affected by tornadoes.
2. To help those affected by disasters you may, send gifts payable to your congregation marked for OGHS special fund Emergency USA with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to Wider Church Ministries.
3. Send gifts, made out to Wider Church Ministries and marked in the memo portion OGHS special fund Emergency USA to UCC Financial Services; Wider Church Ministries, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
4. Make a secure on-line donation. Donate Now
5. Assemble Church World Service clean up and hygiene kits which are urgently needed.