The UCC Matching Grants for congregations assembling CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets and other Kits are back by popular demand for 2020! UCC congregations may apply for up to $250 to supplement their own efforts to assemble these life-giving supplies. Completed kits gets get warehoused, ready to send back out again on quick notice.
Last September, as Hurricane Dorian made its way north from the Bahamas, it swept over Ocracoke Island, N.C., as a Category 1 hurricane. Half the island’s structures were damaged, including 417 primary residences and 194 rentals. A $5,000 grant from UCC Disaster Ministries will help the new long-term recovery group serve the island's affected residents.
Across the Florida Panhandle, there are still significant unmet needs from Hurricane Michael in 2018. Households in both coastal and inland communities are still awaiting help to rebuild or rehabilitate their homes. UCC Disaster Ministries has a broad program of support for the Panhandle's recovery - most recently salary for a construction manager in Calhoun and Jackson counties and a $5,000 seed grant for Holmes County recovery.
In Puerto Rico, powerful earthquakes have killed one person, injured several, unleashed small landslides and caused homes and other buildings to crack and crumble. The earthquakes and aftershocks have taken out power across most of the island, also leaving hundreds of thousands without water. UCC Disaster Ministries has sent an initial $20,000 and is seeking a total of $250,000 to assist the people of the island.
Here are recent grants approved by UCC Disaster Ministries.
A pilot program to help communities launch long-term recovery following disasters is growing ecumenically. Over the past two years, the disaster ministries of the United Church of Christ, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and Church of the Brethren have joined forces to pioneer the Disaster Recovery Support Initiative (DRSI) in nine states and U.S. territories. Now DRSI is folding into the disaster programs of Church World Service (CWS).
Volunteers are now being accepted to repair and rebuild homes in Eastern North Carolina. Hurricanes Dorian (2019), Florence (2018), and Matthew (2016) caused severe flooding and wind damage. There are 15 centers accepting volunteers of all skill levels to help repair homes affected by natural disasters.
UCC Disaster Ministries just contributed $10,000 toward an ecumenical response through CWS Japan to assist 1,000 families with home and livelihood restoration, volunteer mobilization to clear debris, and capturing of lessons learned for reducing risk in the disasters that are sure to follow as climate change brings more unprecedented destructive weather.
UCC Disaster Ministries has contributed $15,000 to support care for 25 orphaned, abused, neglected or abandoned children evacuated from Grand Bahama after Hurricane Dorian destroyed the Children’s Home there.
Churches in Puerto Rico are at the stressful and demanding front lines of meeting needs left by Hurricane Maria two years ago. They include UCC Disaster Ministries’ Hurricane Maria recovery partner IEUPR (Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico). More than 80 IEUPR pastors and staff got a break October 16-21 at a retreat in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, organized by the IEUPR and funded by UCC Disaster Ministries.