The North Carolina Conference has activated its disaster response operation at the MERCI Ministry Center in Goldsboro. Volunteers are needed to help with telephones and coordination efforts across 32 counties impacted by 25 tornadoes that left devastation Saturday, April 16 across the eastern portion of the state.
Please also consider reaching out financially by giving online to NC Storms Emergency Response – Advance #S-00176. 100% of every gift to this Advance will go to storm response. Send remittances, using the Conference remittance form, to Conference Treasurer, P.O. Box 890202, Charlotte, NC 28289-0202.
For further information regarding Relief efforts around the NC Conference, please see:
Volunteer assistance is being coordinated at MERCI by calling 888-400-9167 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Individuals needing assistance with storm damage should also use the same telephone number and e-mail address. For updates, visit the Outreach Ministry page.
Conference disaster response teams are assessing specific needs for early response and later for the recovery phase. “The MERCI team, working with other volunteer agencies across North Carolina, will know what type of assistance is needed in the various areas,” said the Rev. Budzinski, chair of the conference disaster response team. “In some cases the need is volunteers, in others it is materials, and often it is financial support that can provide assistance for those who have lost homes.”
Financial contributions, designated for NC Storms Emergency Response – Advance #S-00176, can be placed in any NC Conference United Methodist Church offering plate or mailed to NC Conference, P.O. Box 890202, Charlotte, NC 28289-0202. Be sure to note Advance #S-00176. One hundred percent of the contribution will go for storm response.
Churches in the NC Conference are asked to take a special offering as soon as possible on any appropriate Sunday to provide relief in response efforts for storm victims. Checks should be designated for Advance #S-00176.
NC Conference Bishop Al Gwinn has announced that the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has already released an emergency grant to the conference that is enabling the move into action for the initial response to needs.
Across the North Carolina Conference, at least 22 confirmed deaths, including three children; 130 injuries; and 800 homes were damaged or destroyed. Damage in Wake County alone, has been estimated at $65-100 million.
The National Weather Service said Tuesday, April 19 that 12 supercell thunderstorms produced at least 25 tornadoes across the state on Saturday. This was the largest number of tornadoes in the state in 27 years, according to meteorologist Jeff Orrock with the weather service.
Budzinski said volunteers and assistance will be needed for months and maybe years to come.