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.
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.
Disaster Sites Ready for Volunteers
South Carolina Flood Recovery: In early October 2015, heavy rains inundated South Carolina. Columbia, S.C., was heavily impacted as nearly 4,313 families in Lexington County and 18,031 in Richland County registered with FEMA for assistance. As needs assessments continue and long-term recovery needs are being identified, UCC Disaster Ministries is working closely with FEMA and other agencies to begin repairs on select homes that qualify to receive assistance and require minimal casework. Volunteers are needed to help repair homes for families who have been displaced and do not have sufficient means to hire a contractor. The Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) is a new project that has been developed collaboratively with the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries (UCCDM), Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) (CCDOC), and Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries (BDM). The focus of this Initiative is to provide support for the development of local Long Term Recovery Groups by deploying a small team of experienced individuals to a disaster affected area soon after the incident. Registration information here.
Hurricane Sandy Recovery, New Jersey: What is unofficially knows as "Superstorm Sandy" in October 2012 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 especially in Monmouth County as many individuals and families still 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. Through this partnership each organization is providing resources and support for the ongoing work. Registration information here.
Texas Disaster Recovery: Volunteers are urgently needed for Williamson County, which suffered flooding and tornados on Memorial Day weekend of 2015. UCC Disaster Ministries is seeking volunteer teams to assist with repair and reconstruction of homes impacted by these disasters. The work is being done in collaboration with the Williamson County Long-Term Recovery Committee, whose mission is to "address the disaster recovery needs of individuals and families affected by the Memorial Day Flood of 2015 in an effort to provide a safe, secure, sanitary, and functional dwelling when available government and social agency funding is exhausted while needs remain." Work team 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 Jenny Gannaway, VOAD President, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Any questions, please contact the Ohio Conference Disaster Coordinator, Jim Ditzler at 330-262-3242 or email@example.com.
Southwest Virginia Long-Term Recovery: In February and March 2015 severe storms greatly damaged more than 200 homes in Wise, Va., and nearby communities. These homes had significant damage to their roofs. The area did not qualify for individual assistance, but did qualify for SBA loans. However, 60% of the applicants were denied because they did not meet income guidelines. Casework is ongoing and 29 homes have been identified as critical. Work needs to be completed before winter. Pennsylvania Southeast Conference Disaster Ministries Coordinator Karl Jones is working with the Southwest Virginia Long-Term Recovery Group to complete these homes. To help rebuild, contact SW VA LTR volunteer coordinator Leigh Clark, 276-219-4301 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may also be directed to Karl Jones. 570-617-4018 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.