UMCOR and Other Churches Provide Disaster Relief (9/10/17)

Posted by on Oct 9, 2017 in EventReport, Mission: Beyond our Community, UMCOR | 0 comments

Excerpts from a recent article in USA Today (Sept. 9-10, 2017) document how faith based organizations (like our own UMCOR) are providing 80% of the disaster recovery that is currently happening.  It’s an example of how we can partner with the government (FEMA) to care for those whose lives have been upended by the recent storms.

Faith based groups have been super busy of late, providing more aid to hurricane victims than even FEMA. They are first to arrive at scenes of natural disasters, assess the situation, and speed the recovery and rebuilding process. While FEMA is on the scene too, it’s the Christian groups who have taken the lead. When disaster strikes, it’s Americans of faith who lend the quickest hands and who provide the most assistance. Faith based organizations are integral partners in state and federal disaster relief efforts. They have specific roles and a sophisticated communication and coordination network to make sure their efforts don’t overlap, or get in each others’ way.

The most crucial response to a disaster is manpower. UMCOR has more than 22,000 trained volunteers ready to serve as early responders. As soon as they receive the call, they’re there. UMCOR is known for it’s expertise in case management. After the initial cleanup, where Methodist volunteer work crews assist victims, remove debris,  and pull mud out of houses; UMCOR sends trained volunteers into the wreckage to help families navigate the maze of FEMA assistance, state aid programs ,and  private insurance paperwork so that they can begin to rebuild their lives. They even have  designated listeners to sit with victims who need to vent.

About 80% of disaster recovery happens because of Christian organizations. They don’t just come in with chainsaws; they also raise billions of dollars for disaster relief assistance. People who put God first, who are committed to serving Jesus, are the real doers and shakers and movers. The ones who see a need and immediately respond.

FEMA can not do what it does so well without the assistance of churches and faith based organizations. It’s a beautiful relationship between government and the private sector that is something to behold.


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