By: Melissa Hinnen
As Sandy, a superstorm bearing down on on millions of people on the east coast of North America, the United Methodist Church is helping prepare, respond and cope with the storm's effects.
Through local United Methodist churches and trained disaster response workers, the United Methodist Committee on Relief provides immediate relief, assistance with cleanup and rebuilding, pastoral counseling, and support for children and youth who have been through trauma.
"As large as the monster Sandy is, the church is larger and more powerful in its preparations, its spirit and its capacity to be here for years to come," said the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR Assistant General Secretary for U.S. Disaster Response.
UMCOR field staff are already at work assessing damages in the Caribbean, where Hurricane Sandy is known to have killed at least 65 people, left widespread power outages and damaged or destroyed agricultural fields and communications systems.
In the U.S., United Methodist early response teams from many states have been put on alert, and will deploy once emergency officials say it is safe do so.
"There are many ways you can help, but the most important right now is by giving to UMCOR Hurricane 2012 Advance #3021787, which will cover needs in the affected U.S. and Caribbean regions,” said Rev. Hazelwood.
Donors may give through their United Methodist congregation, or online. Those who give online should be sure to list their church name in order for their church to receive credit for church records. Donors may also text the word RESPONSE to 80888 to give an immediate $10 donation.
UMCOR is a registered 501(c) (3) charity. All gifts are tax deductible.
For more information, follow UMCOR on Facebook or call 1( 800) 554-8583 between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.
UMCOR is the not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization of the United Methodist Church. Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience, UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church