UCC Disaster Ministries has sent an additional $50,000 for construction materials for its Hurricane Harvey recovery work site in Port Arthur, Texas, where it has been partnering with a local nonprofit to rehabilitate 17 low-income rental units that were flooded in the August 2017 disaster.
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.
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.
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. UCC Disaster Ministries also recently deployed Betzi Yungclas, an experienced Partners in Service volunteer, to the Holmes County Long-Term Recovery Group, and is funding a full-time construction manager, Benji Benzschawel, to the North Florida LTRG, serving Jackson and Calhoun counties.
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.
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.