Volunteer in Disaster Recovery – Isaias Recovery in Philadelphia, Pa.
Southeast PA Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (SEPA VOAD), Eastwick United and many other partners including United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries are looking to recruit volunteers to repair and rebuild homes in the Eastwick neighborhood of Philadelphia.
On August 4, 2020, during the pandemic, Tropical Storm Isaias dumped seven inches of rain on parts of eastern Pennsylvania. Wind damage and tornadoes left hundreds of thousands without power, and widespread severe flooding led to injuries as well as one storm-related fatality. COVID concerns interrupted work to meet the many significant unmet needs in the impacted areas and especially in Eastwick, which has the highest concentration of damage to both structures and mechanical systems.
The site began receiving teams in July 2021 and as of this fall (2021) has had more than 30 teams (over 100 volunteers) come on Saturdays along with several during the week for one day at a time. One team spent five days working, and two more overnight teams are upcoming.
The site is looking forward to including you in its rebuild efforts!
Disaster Event: Tropical Storm Isaias, Eastern PA
Project Focus: Repair and Rebuild
Contact: Judy Moore, Volunteer Coordinator 802-299-8290; IsaiasRecoveryVolunteers@gmail.com
Group Size: 1 to 20 volunteers, who will be grouped into 2 to 5-member teams
Special Requirements: Work groups need to include a skilled leader; updated Tetanus shots
Minimum Age: 18
Accommodations: Housing at Salt and Light Church in Philadelphia (COVID vaccination required)
Costs: Transportation, food
Tools: Please bring general carpentry tools and a substantial first aid kit.
Donations are tax-deductible and always welcome. It is estimated that $320,000 will be required to meet the rebuild needs of the Eastwick community. To date approximately $260,000 has been committed from many organizations including Eastwick Neighbors and Friends Coalition, The Salvation Army, UCC Disaster Ministries, Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern PA, Disciples of Christ, the City of Philadelphia and a local Go Fund Me effort.
Make checks payable to the PA Southeast Conference, UCC. Put Eastwick Unmet Needs Roundtable in the memo line and send to 1441 Laura Ln, Ste 100, Pottstown, PA 19464.
COVID Guidelines: Volunteers are required to wear facemasks, practice social distancing and sanitize on a regular basis. Windows and doors will be kept open on each worksite for ventilation. If using our liability insurance, we require completed COVID vaccinations.
Other Information: Once contact is made with our Volunteer Coordinator you will be provided with all the necessary information including release forms, skill sheets for your group, contact information, arrival information. etc. You will also find information and volunteering here.
· “Mission Trips That Matter” by Don C. Richter, Upper Room Books
· On-Site Reflection: “Meeting God in the Ruins: Devotions for Disaster Volunteers.” Free copies may be ordered from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by calling 800.638.3522 ext. 2580 (ISBN 6-0001-6788-1); pay shipping only.
· Follow-Up Action: Help your local community prepare for possible disaster and response. Be sure your congregation has a plan in case of local disaster (see A Disaster Preparedness Manual for Churches). Get to know your UCC Conference Disaster Coordinator and stay involved.
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