A UCC congregation and its community are under siege in Ventura, Calif., surrounded by raging wildfires that authorities say could get worse before they get better. As of Wednesday evening the buildings which house the Church of the Foothills were still standing, but the pastor, the Rev. Kris Bergstrom, said that many of her church families and their neighbors have lost everything.Read more
Hurricanes Irma and Maria wiped out water treatment systems in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, leaving people without clean drinking water. According to the Department of Defense, 55% of Puerto Rico was left without clean drinking water. Your help is needed this GivingTuesday. A $20 filter ensures 1 million gallons of fresh water!Read more
Rev. Dr. Melinda V. McLain, Disaster Ministry Coordinator, Northern California-Nevada Conference UCC, writes, "Virtually no one in Northern California will soon forget the terrible devastation of the early October firestorms that swept through Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino, Lake, Yuba and Solano counties. Our NCNC-UCC churches and organizations quickly sprang into action ...."Read more
The United Church of Christ's 2017 Hurricane Relief Fund has received a generous gift from the residents, team members and friends of Retirement Housing Foundation (RHF), more than $100,000, which helped push UCC disaster donations earmarked to assist people affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria over the $2 million mark.Read more
In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew caused widespread devastation in the southeastern United States. In Volusia County, Fla., alone, there were more than 17,550 FEMA registrants. More than 6,000 of those were homeowners who failed the income test and/or are disabled, and either uninsured or underinsured.
Volusia Interfaiths/Agencies Networking in Disaster (VIND) undertook to serve 58 homes with repair/rebuild. Most of the homes require both roof repair or replacement and interior damages. Many of the homes were further damaged by Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017.
The UCC's Response
- During summer 2018, UCC Disaster Ministries sent $50,000 more to VIND for continued employment of a construction supervisor for the long-term recovery.
- In January 2018, UCC Disaster Ministries sent an additional $50,000 to VIND to help meet clients' unmet needs.
- UCC Disaster Ministries granted $100,000 to Volusia Interfaiths/Agencies Networking in Disasters to support VIND's work to help repair/rebuild homes damaged by Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, including hiring of a construction supervisor. David Heald, Northern Regional Disaster Coordinator for the UCC's Florida Conference, serves as VIND's operations manager.
- UCC Disaster Ministries identified and established volunteer opportunities for repairing Irma-affected homes.
- $1,500 solidarity/emergency grant to the Miami Shores Community Church, UCC which supported the purchase of a generator, fuel, gas stoves for community cooking, and purchasing and distributing ice.
- A $3,000 solidarity grant for the Naples, Fla., United Church of Christ to assist with expenses related to the nursery school.
If you’re a new immigrant, perhaps undocumented, already struggling to make ends meet, and disaster pushes you beyond your ability to cope, where do you turn for help? Grants from UCC Disaster Ministries are helping trusted social service ministries in Houston and Sonoma meet a dramatic increase in need due to Hurricane Harvey and the northern California wildfires.Read more
Even as UCC Disaster Ministries has been responding to recent hurricanes and wildfires, it has not been forgetting the need to provide relief and recovery elsewhere. Here are news briefs about some of those other places we work, starting with a celebration and continuing with disaster situations and recovery work in progress.Read more
Now there is a choice of Hurricane Harvey intermediate recovery work sites in Houston. Dates are available through December to "muck and gut." UCC Disaster Ministries has been teaming up with Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders and has just partnered with International Orthodox Christian Charities-NECHAMA Jewish Recovery to offer these service opportunities.Read more
UCC Disaster Ministries and its hurricane recovery partner in Florida today (Oct. 13) are celebrating completion of repairs of the home of the long-term recovery group's first client. It's a milestone for this group, whose clients need help rebuilding from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016. Many of them sustained additional damage from Irma this September. UCC helped the group set up an office, fundraise and prepare to do disaster case management and provided funds to hire a construction coordinator.Read more
The small community of Platteville, Wis., rallied around its local UCC congregation to help raise more than $3,300 for hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico. The congregation turned an evening of planned family friendly fellowship into a fundraiser for the people of Puerto Rico. And as the news reported out of the U.S. commonwealth became more devastating, several members of the wider community joined in to help.Read more