Compassion in Action
Your service as a Disaster Recovery Volunteer helps people rebuild their physical homes and is an act of presence that indicates the commitment to walk beside people as they seek to rebuild their lives. Together, we can be the body of Christ in the world. The wider UCC utilizes mission trip groups to help homeowners in the long-term recovery process.
Opportunities to serve and registration will be posted on this page as they are available.
On August 26, 2017, Hurricane Harvey blasted Texas when it made landfall as a category 4 hurricane. Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida on September 10, 2017 as a category 4 hurricane with record-force winds.
Volunteers around the country are needed in the months and years ahead. Individuals to be trained and serve for periods of 6-12 months will be needed for leadership. Groups will be needed for a week at a time to rebuild homes and walk with people as they recover their lives and dreams. Sign up here to be the first to receive information on registration for long-term recovery.
Today – Register to serve in Volusia County, Fla., where Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and then Irma in 2017 caused extensive damage. Skilled roofers are needed now; teams to do interior work soon. Volunteer to serve in Baton Rouge, La., recovering from 2016 flooding. Today – Gather your group that will serve in Texas or Florida in long-term recovery. Today – hold a fund-raising event in your community, provide materials for local preparation for disaster and send funds to UCC Hurricane Harvey Recovery or UCC Hurricane Irma Relief to build up the strong and long response and recovery in Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and in the Caribbean.
Past volunteers in long-term disaster recovery have removed carpet and drywall from flooded homes, installed framing, listened to local stories of the disaster, written guest editorials in their local news outlets.
Disaster Sites Ready for Volunteers
Volusia County, Fla., Hurricanes Irma & Matthew Recovery (Daytona Beach area): Hurricane Matthew passed just offshore Volusia County, Fla., on Oct. 7, 2016, and inflicted tremendous damage. Dozens of homes were destroyed and hundreds suffered major damage, with more than $600 million in estimated losses. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma caused further destruction in the county. UCC Disaster Ministries has partnered with VIND (Volusia Interfaiths/Agencies Networking in Disasters) to assist households to repair/rebuild homes, e.g. roofing, gutting interiors, replacing insulation, siding, drywall repair and painting, flooring and other interior work as needed. Click here for full information and to volunteer.
Baton Rouge, La., Flood Recovery: UCC Disaster Ministries has partnered with the Fuller Center For Housing in Louisiana to help residents return home following historic and catastrophic flooding in August of 2016. Thousands of residents still live in temporary housing struggling to rebuild their lives. Volunteers are needed to repair and rebuild homes. Work teams that sign up to serve in Baton Rouge may apply for scholarships (grants) from UCC Disaster Ministries to help defray their costs. Click here for more information and to schedule.
Hurricane Sandy Recovery, Sites in Monmouth County and Holmdel, New Jersey: What is unofficially knows as "Superstorm Sandy" affected 24 U.S. states. It was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season and the second costliest in U.S. history. Volunteers are still needed as many people remain displaced. There were over 72,000 homes affected in New Jersey and many of these residents are still not recovered. Recovery has been slow due to a lack of personal funds, a lack in volunteerism and delays in the many state and local grants opportunities available. UCC Disaster Ministries has partnered with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Lutheran Disaster Response to continue the work in NJ at two sites. In this partnership each organization is providing resources and support for the ongoing work. Registration information here.
West Virginia Flood Recovery: In March and April of 2015, sweeping storms careened through Southwest West Virginia, causing severe damage to more than 800 homes, and leaving 200 bridges damaged or destroyed. This in turn has left the affected citizens without proper access to shelter and other needs. At this time, the possibility of disaster funding from FEMA is still in question, which complicates the issue of recovery. Right now, help is needed in West Virginia. Tasks such as: logging on-site damage assessments, mucking out flooded homes and repairing/rehabbing of damaged homes. All recovery efforts are being directed through West Virginia VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster). Schedule your volunteer efforts through Ohio Conference Disaster Coordinator, Jim Ditzler at 330-262-3242 or email@example.com.
Northwest Florida (Walton): Tropical Storm Andrea came ashore in Northwest Florida on July 2, 2013. it brought heavy winds and rain causing flooding through three counties. 150 homes have been identified in these three counties as needing assistance with repairs. FEMA is not providing any individual assistance to disaster survivors, therefore all of the recovery efforts are handled by faith-based organizations. Registration information here.
Nepal Earthquake Recovery: On April 25, 2015, a powerful 7.8 earthquake centered in Nepal took the lives of more than 9,000 people. Hundreds of aftershocks followed, some of which were stronger than 7.0, which was the strength of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. With the traditional homes using poor building materials that were locally available (such as using mud as mortar between bricks or stones) hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed. UCC Disaster Ministries has partnered with the Fuller Center in Nepal to build earthquake resistant homes. UCC Disaster Ministries is providing the majority of the funding and support to build homes in Nepal since the earthquake and has set a goal of building 50 homes. Volunteers interested in supporting this effort should visit the Fuller Center website here.
Disaster Ministries also has t-shirts available for sale in the UCC online store here. Other items with the Disaster Ministries logo can be ordered through Lands End as well. Please click here for more information on how to order.