Hurricane Michael did unprecedented damage to many small beach communities and several cities in Florida’s panhandle. Hundreds of thousands of people remain without power. Here are several ways that can help alleviate some of the suffering:
There are two funds you can support as part of our denomination’s response:
- United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR): Fund go directly to individuals affected for immediate relived and long-term recovery.
- Donate online at hydeparkumc.org/umcor
- Make checks payable to Hyde Park United Methodist and designate it clearly to “UMCOR.”
- Bishop’s Challenge Fund: Funds go directly to congregations, for rebuilding of churches and restoration of ministry to the surrounding community. This fund is being supported by a generous $500,000 matching funds challenge by First UMC Ormond Beach.
- Donate online at hydeparkumc.org/BishopsChallenge
- Make your check payable to Hyde Park United Methodist and designate is clearly as “Bishop’s Fund.”
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) suggests additional things you can do: Pray, Make and Send Relief Kits, Donate Items. Get details here.
United Methodist Connection Aids
A hurricane-ravaged church in the Florida Panhandle is slowly rebounding, helped by agencies of The United Methodist Church and generous neighboring churches.
Woodlawn United Methodist Church, in nearby Panama City Beach, Florida, is coordinating the collection of supplies for Lynn Haven, as well as providing the candy for a planned “Trunk or Treat” Halloween for area youths. The trick-or-treating will be done at automobiles this year, since many homes in the region were destroyed by the Hurricane Michael.
Learn more in this blog post from the United Methodist News Service.
Early Response Team Training
An Early Response Team (ERT) is a self-contained team invited to a disaster-affected area to provide specialized physical, emotional and spiritual assistance to survivors. ERTs help with specific needs in the early days after a disaster, cleaning out flood-damaged homes, removing debris, placing tarps on home and other tasks as needed, while providing a caring Christian presence.
An email from the Florida Conference shared this message on Oct. 15:
Because the situation is still very unstable and changing hourly, we will be sending only ERTs who have been trained and credentialed in the last five years. As the situation stabilizes over the next few weeks, we will broadcast a wider invitation for volunteers.
If you would like to be trained as an early responder for the Florida Conference and UMCOR, New Covenant UMC in The Villages is hosting a training 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at New Covenant United Methodist Church in The Villages. To learn more or to register, click here.