UCC Disaster Ministries has just ordered another $55,000 be sent for famine and drought response in East Africa – one of the biggest humanitarian emergencies since World War II. This includes funding for ecumenical work in South Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya and augments the $85,000 sent earlier for food, nutritional supplements, water and medical care in the four countries.
UCC Disaster Ministries funding to Genesee County Hispanic Latino Collaborative - La Placita is helping mitigate the impact of the ongoing water crisis in Flint, Mich., on some of its most under-served and overlooked residents. A December 2016 grant of $25,000 helped the collaborative set up an interpretation and translation service. An additional $8,500 contribution this month is helping Spanish-speaking residents avoid water shutoff.
It was raining buckets that Saturday night last August, but "I didn't know it was going to do what it did," recalled Elgie C., 90, who began the evening as she usually did, alone in the home she loves. Next thing she knew, her son-in-law was at her door with a boat. The UCC is partnering with Fuller Center Disaster ReBuilders to recruit volunteer work teams to help people like Miss Elgie recover.
It's been just over three weeks since Woodside Church in Flint, Mich., offered to pay water bills for neighbors in need, and the church's $50,000 fund is already tapped out. Contributions from churches across the United States and an $8,500 grant from UCC Disaster Ministries to the Genesee County Hispanic Latino Collaborative (GCHLC), which is housed in the church, will help more people prevent water shutoffs at home - and continue to provide free filtered water for those whose water at home is still not safe to use.
The EF3 tornado that raked Naplate and Ottawa, Ill., Feb. 28 lasted about eight minutes – and changed those communities forever. Still, today recovery is farther along than would be typical at this point by as much as a couple of months thanks to a partnership between the local community and the ecumenical Disaster Recovery Support Initiative.
Famine has officially been declared in South Sudan and looms in Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen. The United Church of Christ has issued an appeal for $50,000 for East Africa famine relief. It also is urging observance of the World Council of Churches' Global Day of Prayer to End Famine on May 21, and advocacy with the U.S. government to release emergency funding to avert catastrophe in these four countries.
On April 16, 2016, Ecuador suffered its deadliest earthquake in decades. 663 people died. A state of emergency was declared in all of Ecuador’s six coastal provinces. Hundreds of homes collapsed. In the year following the quake, UCC Disaster Ministries has sent nearly $18,000 to help survivors get through the initial emergency and take steps to long-term recovery - including 30 families in Sua, Esmeraldas, who are establishing businesses with microloans.
United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries this week sent another $50,000 for Hurricane Matthew recovery in Haiti, bringing its total to $136,000 since the storm raked that island nation last October. The funds are going toward repair of as many as 400 homes, two schools and several community meeting spaces, fortifying them against future storms and earthquakes, and are helping provide seeds to farmers who lost last fall's harvest to Matthew.
This is a story about how people in two countries, two U.S. states and two cities kept 24 surplus bunk beds and six dressers from a wasteful end in a landfill by redeploying them to a United Church of Christ congregation that expects to start hosting disaster recovery work teams soon.
The United Church of Christ is sending an initial $85,000 in aid to South Sudan and three other African counties to help people combating a crisis fueled by war, severe drought and massive food shortages, with famine declared in some areas. "This crisis, this emergency demands our immediate attention and response," said Zach Wolgemuth, executive director, UCC Disaster Ministries.