UCC Disaster Ministries just released another $100,000 to rebuild Hurricane Maria-battered homes in Puerto Rico. UCC's total aid to date tops $600,000. The UCC and the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico are collaborating on a multifaceted response. Among other things, they recruit volunteer work teams, which have restored 75 homes so far! Many more houses are on the waiting list - schedule your work team! There are openings into 2020.
More than two dozen major disasters have been declared across the United States so far in 2019 including severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides and mudslides, and tornadoes. And now California is seeing an outbreak of wildfires. UCC Disaster Ministries is working to support local UCC congregations in their initial response and already has provided $17,000 to local UCC congregations for food pantries and other disaster response programs in hard-hit Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas.
The frequency and intensity of natural disasters are increasing, affecting nearly every church and community in our country. At 1:30 p.m. June 22 during UCC General Synod in Milwaukee, WI, UCC Disaster Ministries and The Insurance Board will offer a one-hour workshop on disaster preparedness, "What to Do When Disaster Strikes: Protecting your Church, Serving your Community."
Ohio and Kansas UCC churches are reaching out to help their communities following tornadoes and other powerful storms.
The United Church of Christ has been accepted as a partner in Airbnb’s Open Homes program, through which hosts donate emergency lodging to disaster survivors and recovery workers, refugees and asylum seekers, and families accompanying loved ones for medical appointments. In turn, the UCC is encouraging members to consider signing up as “Open Homes” hosts.
Volunteers are being recruited now to help repair and rebuild homes in the Florida Panhandle. Hurricane Michael caused extensive damage when it made landfall there as a Category 4 storm in October 2018. The storm's heavy rain, high winds, and extreme storm surges caused massive destruction in its path and spawned numerous tornadoes.
The 2019 Tropical Cyclones and Typhoons season is starting with force, battering Mozambique and neighboring countries, then India and Bangladesh. Click here for information and UCC Disaster Ministries' response, including a special appeal.
The United Church of Christ has issued an emergency appeal to assist several countries in Africa devastated by two deadly tropical cyclones which ripped through the Southern Hemisphere just weeks apart. UCC Disaster Ministries hopes to raise $200,000 to increase the International Emergency Relief Fund to respond to disasters around the world, including in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi, left reeling by Cyclone Idai on March 15 and Cyclone Kenneth on April 24.
UCC Penn Southeast Conference Disaster Coordinator Karl Jones is National VOAD's Volunteer of the Year. He was presented with that honor last night (May 8) during the association's annual meeting, being held May 6-9 in Nashville, Tenn. National VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) cited Jones' long-time partnership with people and communities in recovery following disasters, both within and beyond the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Since March 14, Tropical Cyclones Idai and Kenneth and resulting flooding have claimed more than 600 lives in Mozambique and neighboring countries. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced to temporary camps. The UCC has begun its early response and planning for recovery with partners. Thus far, $65,000 has been provided to address the needs, and a special appeal has been launched.