Submitted by Al Miller III, Director of Disaster Ministries, NCCUMC
With the final report of our Phase 1 grant, I feel it is important to say “THANK YOU” to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for providing the funding for our initial disaster recovery operations. For the reporting period of January – June, 2019, the monies we received from UMCOR, along with those from other state and national partners, have allowed us to accomplish the following:
- Repair or rebuild 219 homes
- Place 761 homes into case management
- Offer our services to 942 families
In addition, with our unique volunteer model for construction and repair, we have worked with almost 6,800 volunteers, giving our conference a boost of $5,033,923 dollars in labor value. These numbers provide a true picture of how UMCOR, the United Methodist Church, and the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church (NCCUMC) are continually working with those persons who believe they are lost, without hope and forgotten in the face of natural disasters. It is our hope that the NCCUMC, along with UMCOR as its lead supporter, continues offering a helping hand to rebuild lives, giving a word of hope, and offering strength, comfort and prayer for these communities until all needs are met.
The members of the Disaster Ministries program for the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church are grateful for these opportunities and look forward to the beginning of our Phase 2 grant from UMCOR. Our disaster ministry program is just starting!
Disaster Recovery Centers – We are excited about the opening of our thirteenth disaster recovery location. Saint James AMEZ Church has allowed us to use their parsonage as a Satellite Recovery Housing Center for Southport and Brunswick county. This brings the total number of facilities throughout our Conference to 13 (8 main centers and 5 satellites).
ERR and STEP – The North Carolina Emergency Management program has offered to continue the Emergency Rapid Repair (ERR) and Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) programs for clients who have been identified through FEMA as needing immediate assistance. ERR and STEP will give each client up to $17,000 dollars for immediate funding to begin repair and recovery efforts as quickly as possible. These funds will allow us to reach further and support more clients when used with our Phase 2 grant from UMCOR.
Volunteer Opportunities- As the long-term recovery efforts continue for both Hurricane Matthew (2016) and Hurricane Florence (2018) our volunteers are more in-demand than ever. As the beginning of school approaches, we are seeing a reduction in the number of out-of-state volunteer teams scheduling trips. According to the Disaster Call Center, our calls from responding teams will increase again around mid-September and continue through late December. But our needs for relief / recovery volunteers never waivers. For that reason, we are asking every church and every pastor to extend an invitation to every member to come and join us. Construction experience is not required and we welcome volunteers with willing hearts and hands. Our staff at the centers will provide all the guidance you need. Please look at your calendar and find the time to contact the Disaster Call Center at 888-440-9167. Offer a Saturday, a weekend or even a week to serve your neighbors and your community members – our Christian brothers and sisters – by giving them the help they need to return home. Please read Isaiah 6:8 and prayerfully consider the words of the prophet: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’”
Thank you to all of you for your continued prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service, and your witness as we strive to be doers of HIS word through your North Carolina Conference Disaster Ministries. God bless!