April 29, 2011
The United Church of Christ is issuing an appeal in response to severe flooding and to what authorities describe as the worst-single stretch of tornadoes in more than four decades. Over 200 deaths have already been reported.
Today, the United Church of Christ is issuing a US Spring Storms Appeal for $250,000 in response to ongoing flooding and storms.
To date, six states have been severely impacted by flooding, with more states likely to reach emergency status due to rain fall and already high lake, river, and creek levels. In addition to floods, 147 tornadoes have swept across the mid-section and southeast United States, in what authorities describe as the worst-single stretch of tornadoes in more than four decades.
States hit hardest by these devastating weather conditions are Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, and North Dakota. Over 200 deaths have been reported.
UCC National Disaster Ministries is in regular contact with Conference Ministers and Disaster Coordinators in impacted states, receiving damage and response updates and offering immediate One Great Hour of Sharing emergency grants.
The United Church of Christ’s immediate response in working with local partners includes providing safety equipment (Tyvek suits, respirators, goggles, and gloves) to homeowners and volunteers cleaning up damaged homes. The cost of a dozen safety equipment kits is $112.68.
The UCC’s long-range response will include assisting communities to repair and rebuild safe and affordable homes.
Volunteers interested in providing assistance in long-term disaster recovery should check our website regularly for information, updates and current needs. http://www.ucc.org/volunteer/disaster-recovery-volunteers/. Long-term “Partners in Service” volunteers (terms of 1-12 months) may be needed for construction site supervision. Interested individuals and couples can begin the application process here. http://www.ucc.org/volunteer/volunteer-on-line-application.html. As long-term disaster recovery continues, mission trip groups will be needed. Check back here for location and registration information.
Florence Coppola, UCC Executive for National Disaster Ministries, reported her office is working with local, national and ecumenical disaster response organizations. “Many homes and communities have been demolished, and more severe storms are expected. Extensive rebuilding is going to be needed,” said Coppola. The United Church of Christ is committed to walking alongside our brothers and sisters during this disaster and stands firm in its commitment to move communities toward recovery.
Here are some ways you can help:
1. Pray for those impacted by natural disasters and emergency response personnel.
2. Make gifts payable to your congregation marked for US Spring Storms Appeal, with the request they be sent through your Conference office on to United Church of Christ, Financial Services; 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115.
3. Send gifts, made out to United Church of Christ and marked in the memo portion US Spring Storms Appeal to United Church of Christ, Financial Services; 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.