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.
A widespread disaster with no end in sight has kept a massive area of the U.S. Midwest under water since the “bomb cyclone” brought heavy snow and/or rain along with high winds to more than a dozen states in mid-March. UCC Disaster Ministries is working to support local UCC congregations in their initial response and already has provided $15,000 to local UCC food pantries and hot meals programs in hard-hit Nebraska and Iowa.
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.
Renovation of a second volunteer house means that now work teams of up to 20 persons at a time can come to Port Arthur, Texas, to help restore homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey. UCC Disaster Ministries aims to "book" at least 20 work teams in 2019.
Hundreds in coastal towns of Sumatra and Java were killed by a tsunami the weekend before Christmas. It was just September when a powerful earthquake and tsunami killed thousands in Central Sulawesi. UCC Disaster Ministries contributed an initial $23,000 for emergency needs following the September disaster and awaits word from partners as the current disaster unfolds.
Bill (William) and Ellen Matten of Boalsburg, Pa., long-time Disaster Coordinators for the UCC's Penn Central Conference, enthusiastically live their faith. Not only do they generously share their time and talents, they share what they learn and experience after participating in group mission trips with their local church and with the UCC Humanitarian and Development Ministries.
Millie Oliphant of Vernon, Conn., recently translated her passion for line dancing into a fundraiser for United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries. Her eight-week class helped participants chase away the “dead-of-winter” blues and raised $600 for the greater good in the process.