A UCC congregation in Redding, Calif., is planning a community meal on Tuesday, August 7, for friends and neighbors who have lost their homes and possessions to the wildfires burning in the area. While flames came within a mile of Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, the church building, designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was spared. The church family was not.
UCC Disaster Ministries has been awarded a $100,000 grant by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for its work to restore 17 low-income rental units in Port Arthur, Texas, that Hurricane Harvey flooded with two feet of water last August. The Affordable Housing Recovery Project is a partnership with the South East Texas Community Development Corporation (SETCDC), a local non-profit which owns and manages the apartments.
Severe spring floods in Kenya displaced more than 311,000 people, killing 132 and injuring 23. UCC is a partner in the response, providing $40,000 to date to fund water tanks, portable latrines, hygiene, sanitation, food and other supplies for 910 households (7,300 people) in seven camps in Tana River Sub County.
What does it look like when 250 young people from across the Midwest converge in one space to complete a project? "Absolutely marvelous!" said the Rev. Roger Dart, disaster response coordinator for the Illinois Conference UCC. The young people were participants in the UCC's Great Lakes Regional Youth Event at Elmhurst College, in Elmhurst Ill., July 5-8. They put their faith in action, assembling more than 70 Clean-Up Bucket Kits for Church World Service.
“'If you are more fortunate than others, it is better that you should build a longer table, than a taller fence.' To me, the simplicity and eloquence of this apparently anonymous quote sums up my experience serving in Florida with UCC Disaster Ministries on a hurricane recovery volunteer work team." - Commentary by Scott Smiley
A hug of transformation and solidarity. That’s how the Rev. Edward Rivera Santiago, General Pastor of the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico (IEUPR), describes an ecumenical collaboration to repair as many homes as possible that were damaged by Hurricane Maria last September. UCC Disaster Ministries is recruiting groups of volunteers to repair roofs, do light carpentry and paint interior ceilings and walls, and has contributed more than $250,000 to the recovery effort to date.
Marlene was among homeowners affected when Hurricanes Matthew in 2016 and Irma in 2017 devastated Volusia County on Florida’s east coast, destroying dozens of homes and leaving thousands in disrepair. Her recovery came April 8-14 at the hands of a 12-member mission team from Evangelical Reformed UCC in Frederick, Md., Christ Reformed UCC in Middletown, Md., and St. Paul’s UCC in Fleetwood, Pa.
The U.S. Virgin Islands suffered catastrophic damage after back-to-back blows from Hurricanes Irma and Maria last fall, comparable to that in Puerto Rico. But the territory’s great need for recovery help has received little media attention. A strong effort to bring tourism back to the islands has led to the impression that recovery in USVI is complete, but in reality, much of the general population is still reeling from the effects of the storms.
Imagine a disaster recovery work site where the construction supervisor sings to volunteers at the start of their workday, before confirming their assignments and accompanying them through the day. That’s what volunteers are finding in Port Arthur, Texas, where UCC Disaster Ministries and partner South East Texas Community Development Corporation (SET CDC) are restoring 17 low-income rental units that Hurricane Harvey flooded with two feet of water last August.
Like nothing she'd ever seen before. That's how Lavinia, 81, describes last September's Hurricane Maria and the storm's devastation in Puerto Rico. This spring, volunteers repaired Lavinia’s roof using materials purchased by donations to UCC Disaster Ministries. Read Lavinia's story and consider how you can help.