As people of God we hear and respond to the cries of those who are hurting. Today, our friends who were in the destructive path of Hurricane Harvey are hurting. Many have had to flee and lost everything, and sadly some have not survived. We are utilizing our denomination’s scope, size, and preparedness to respond to this disaster.
Through UMCOR (The United Methodist Committee on Relief) we are already a presence in Houston. But the need is great and we have been called into action by Bishop John Schol, as well as our local UMCOR hub. Below is our plan of action, which provides for ways to help with heart, hands, and gifts.
First, pray! Prayer helps us discern how to proceed as it draws us closer to God.
On Sunday during both the 8:15 and 10:30 services we will take up a special collection for UMCOR that is designated for Texas Disaster Response. As you know 100% of this donation will go into the relief effort because ALL ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS for UMCOR are supported by the thousands of local United Methodist Churches prior to disaster! We took up that collection in March so that UMCOR is ready to respond!
PRAYERFULLY PROVIDE RELIEF KITS
UMCOR is asking for both CLEANING KITS (a.k.a Flood Buckets), and HYGIENE KITS. These cleaning and hygiene kits provide pre-packed necessities ready for distribution in needed areas. UMCOR needs consistency when assisting, so all the kits are identical in the items they hold. Please see below for the specific list or visit UMCOR at http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies There is no cut off date for collections.
PRAYERFULLY VOLUNTEER LOCALLY
Our closest UMCOR hub is the Skyland’s Outreach Depot in Andover, NJ. As they receive the Relief Kits they must be checked before sending off to our East Coast UMCOR hub, Mission Central, in Mechanicsburg. They are asking for volunteers to help with quality control and prepare the Relief Kits for transport. They are also looking for additional drivers with trucks to transport Relief Kits to Mechanicsburg. To receive emails on the dates and times volunteers are needed please send an email to Pastor Luana at firstname.lastname@example.org with “UMCOR Volunteer” in the subject heading.
PRAYERFULLY VOLUNTEER IN TEXAS
At this time only teams of ERT trained persons are being sent to Texas. But in the near future many other volunteers will be needed. This is also being coordinated with the denomination. If you are ERT trained are are interested in serving in this capacity, please visit https://www.gnjumc.org/disasterresponse/houston-disaster-response/ for more information.
UMCOR RELIEF KITS:
- 1 hand towel 15″ x 25″ to 17″x 27″; Kitchen, cleaning, and microfiber towels not acceptable.
- 1 washcloth
- 1 comb Comb needs to be sturdy and at least 8″ long; No pocket combs or picks please; Rattail combs and combs without handles are acceptable.
- 1 metal nail file or nail clippers No emery boards or toenail clippers please.
- 1 bath-size soap 3 oz. and larger sizes only; No Ivory soap due to moisture content; Do not remove from original packaging.
- 1 toothbrush Adult size only; Do not remove from original packaging.
- 6 adhesive bandages ¾” to 1″-size; Common household Band-Aids.
- 1 plastic bag One-gallon size sealable bag only.
- $1.00 to purchase toothpaste
Put all items in the gallon ziplock bag
CLEANING KITS (Flood Buckets)
5 gallon bucket with resalable lid (used is OK)
Buckets from fast food restaurants or bakeries can be used if washed and cleaned. Do not use buckets that have stored chemicals such as paint or pool cleaner.
Contents: (must be new)
- Bleach (two 1-quart or one 82 oz. bottle. Do not include bleach of you are shipping the bucket through the US Postal Service, UPS or FedEx)
- 5 scouring pads
- 7 Sponges (no cellulose sponges due to mold issue)
- 1 scrub brush (plastic or wooden handle)
- 18 cleaning towels (Handi-wipes or reusable wipes. No terry cleaning towels. Items may be removed from packaging to fit.)
- Liquid laundry detergent (two 25 oz. or one 50 oz. bottle)
- 1 household cleaner (12-16 oz. bottle liquid cleaner that can be mixed with water. No spray cleaners)
- Disinfectant dish soap, 16-28 oz. bottle
- 50 clothes pins
- Clothes line (two 50 ft. or one 100 ft. cotton or plastic.)
- 5 dust masks
- 2 pair latex or rubber gloves
- 1 pair work gloves (cotton or leather)
- 24-bag roll of heavy-duty trash bags, 33-45 gallon (remove roll from box before placing in bucket)
- 1 Insect repellant spray, 6-14 oz. aerosol or spray pump with protective cover
- 1 Air freshener, 8 or 9 oz. can aerosol or pump (If aerosol, cans must have protective caps.)
Place all liquid items in the bucket first. Place remaining items in the bucket fitting them around and between the liquid items. Sponges, scouring pads, clothespins and trash bags can be separated in order to fit all of the items in the bucket. Ensure the lid is closed securely.