For Release: IMMEDIATE Media Contacts:
Dan Curran for UMC GBGM - 770-658-9586 (cell) - DanCurran@CurranPR.com
Mary Andreolli of UMC GMGM – 919-356-4488 (cell) - MAndreolli@umcmission.org
UMCOR Helping Hurricane Harvey Survivors
United Methodist Committee on Relief “First In, Last Out” Agency Making a Difference
Donations Being Accepted to Support Local Efforts
Atlanta, Ga. (September 1, 2017) – As Hurricane Harvey continues to bring devastation to Texas and impacts Louisiana, the people of The United Methodist Church are answering the call to help those in need and showing support for the denomination’s relief agency, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR-affiliated volunteers have been staffing emergency shelters, sheltering people in need, and working with evacuees where they have been relocated. United Methodist congregations have been making thousands of cleaning and hygiene kits. UMCOR-trained early response teams are ready to be activated for the relief phase of the disaster recovery process, which includes removing debris, securing homes, and stabilizing structures damaged in the storm.
One of the most respected disaster relief agencies in operation today, UMCOR has been making a difference in the world since 1940. One hundred percent of every dollar donated to UMCOR goes to relief and recovery services, earning the agency top ratings from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity watchdog organization. UMCOR is a long-standing member of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) and other similar organizations. Learn more at http://www.umcor.org/umcor/resources/news-stories/2017/august/0825umcorrespondstoharvey and donate at https://secure3.convio.net/gbgm/site/SPageNavigator/umcor_donate.html?type=1002&project=901670.
“Donations to UMCOR empower local early response teams to do what they need to do, when they need to do it, when safe,” said Catherine G. Earl, director of disaster response and U.S. partner relations for UMCOR. “People often say that UMCOR is ‘first in, last out’. Our work is made possible only by generous contributions from the people of The United Methodist Church and friends of UMCOR.”
UMCOR equips United Methodists to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters. UMCOR assists with training, leadership and coordination within The United Methodist Church and in cooperation with other faith-based and nonprofit organizations.
According to Federal Emergency Management Administration officials, over 300,000 Texans have registered for assistance, thousands of homes are feared to have been destroyed and flood waters are still rising.
Starting last week, UMCOR leaders activated trained early response teams in impacted regions. UMCOR disaster recovery grants were issued to the Texas and the Rio Texas Annual Conferences (regional organizations) of The United Methodist Church.
UMCOR’s relief supply network has 133,000 hygiene kits and 20,000 cleaning kits in the pipeline.
To date, approximately 15 churches in the United Methodist Texas Annual Conference (TAC) are serving as shelters. The TAC Mission Center in Conroe is receiving and deploying hygiene kits, receiving kit donations from churches, and distributing them to areas of the conference that have been affected.
In the Rio Texas Annual Conference, early response teams have deployed to Corpus Christi to assist with cleanup and initial assessment.
The people of the Louisiana Annual Conference, already responding to massive flooding in 2016, have expanded operations and are coordinating their efforts to reach out to people affected by the flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey.
The robust network of thousands of UMCOR-trained early response volunteers from throughout the United States are standing by to support the affected conferences when the coordination and safety measures are in place to receive teams.
About the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
Founded in 1940, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the global humanitarian aid organization of the United Methodist Church. UMCOR is working in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the United States. Our mission, grounded in the teachings of Jesus, is to alleviate human suffering—whether caused by war, conflict or natural disaster— with open hearts and minds to all people. UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community's ability to recover on its own. UMCOR works through programs that address hunger, poverty, sustainable agriculture, international and domestic emergencies, refugee and immigrant concerns, global health issues, and transitional development. Learn more at www.UMCOR.org and follow us on social media: facebook.com/UMCOR and twitter.com/UMC_UMCOR.