UCC Disaster Ministries Happennings

October 2019

**  Share the message of preparedness with your friends and family this Christmas!

Send joyful Christmas greetings and provide your friends and family a practical tool to get prepared for natural disasters at the same time.

These Disaster Preparedness Christmas Cards brought to you by United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries include a complete up-to-date list of what should be included in an individual ‘Go-Bag’ –

A Go-Bag is a critical tool in being prepared for a natural disaster and thus able to help others. A faithful reminder to start the year off prepared! Click here for more information and to order!


**  Got your 2019 $250 Match Grant yet for CWS Buckets, Kits?

Delivery to Dayton, Ohio, this year following destructive tornadoes. 

United Church of Christ congregations and other UCC groups assembling CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets and Hygiene Kits have until December 31 to stretch their own cash and in-kind contributions for stocking up these supplies in great demand following hurricanes, flooding and other disasters.

UCC Disaster Ministries offers matching grants of up to $250 each on a first-come, first-served basis to qualifying applicants. Priority is given to groups assembling the cleanup buckets. Year-end 2019 is fast approaching – apply today!  Click here for full information and an application! 

** UCC funds resiliency training for a whole Sulawesi village

$15,000 from UCC Disaster Ministries will fund 12 months of resiliency training for an entire village in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, which just over a year ago suffered a massively destructive earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 2,000 people and displaced tens of thousands. The goal is to build communities with independent ability to avoid danger, adapt to disaster risks and recover quickly. Click here to read more about this project and the UCC’s other assistance following this disaster. 

**  Michael recovery gets going in Florida Panhandle

$5,000 seed grants from UCC Disaster Ministries will go toward costs for four Hurricane Michael long-term recovery groups in the Florida Panhandle – Liberty (County) Strong, Gadsden (County) Strong, Citizens of Gulf County Recovery Team and the North Florida Inland Long-Term Recovery Group (Jackson and Calhoun Counties). The UCC also is supporting recovery in Bay and Washington counties, including with construction management and recruitment of volunteer work teams.  Read more. 


** UCC builds more earthquake-resistant homes in Nepal

It’s a gift that keeps on giving! UCC Disaster Ministries’ initial investment of $200,000 has built earthquake-resistant homes for 53 vulnerable families who survived the devastating 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. The families are paying back interest-free loans into a revolving fund, already used to build 20 more homes, bringing the total to 73. Now the UCC has just sent an additional $40,000 for yet more homes!  Read more. 



**  Puerto Rico: Repairing roofs, equipping preparedness

There is still much work to be done in Puerto Rico to recover from Hurricane Maria two years ago. Close to 30,000 homes still have blue tarp roofs, and thousands of homes still need interior repairs.

Since May 2018, UCC Disaster Ministries and partner IEUPR (Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico) have repaired 105 roofs (and counting!) that were damaged in Hurricane Maria, and aim to complete 45 more houses by June 2020 with the help of volunteer work teams.

The project is fully funded through June 2020. Currently volunteers are being recruited through June 2020. If sufficient funding can be raised, the project will be extended and volunteers recruited for July-December 2020 with the goal of completing 105 more wait-listed houses during that period.

UCC Disaster Ministries and the IEUPR also have stocked churches with emergency supplies (pictured, above), and supported a retreat for IEUPR pastors. They are completing renovation of volunteer accommodations and camp and conference facilities, and are helping fund preparedness workshops.

**  NVOAD panel focuses on disaster response at U.S.-Mexico border, with other asylum seekers

Pictured (far left): Panelist Amanda Sheldon, UCC Disaster Ministries.

United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries participated in the National VOAD Fall Members meeting Oct. 15-16 in Charleston, W. Va.

The UCC’s work along the U.S.-Mexico border and with asylum seekers arriving throughout the United States was featured on a ‘Border Spotlight’ panel on how disaster response organizations can meaningfully and appropriately support migrants arriving at the U.S. southern border.

Additionally, National VOAD members voted to remove the Tiered Membership System among other changes to the NVOAD bylaws. This makes UCC Disaster Ministries and other organizations all members of National VOAD without Tier 1 and Tier 2 membership levels, which were related to organizational budget, number of volunteers mobilized annually and total number of paid staff.

Finally, two new National VOAD members were voted in at the meeting, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center and World Vision.

**  Ways to support disaster recovery
• Donate. Financial contributions are most effective, efficient and beneficial to survivors. They can be made online through the UCC’s Donate to Disaster Relief  web page.
• Volunteer to help families and communities recover. Information and opportunities appear here 
• Build CWS Emergency Cleanup Buckets and Hygiene Kits using UCC Disaster Ministries matching grants.  
Use this resource page to prepare yourself to respond should a disaster hit your own community.
• Regularly visit ucc.org/disaster to keep up with the latest news of UCC Disaster Ministries’ work, including and especially its priority for long-term recovery.
• See the Recently Updated 12 Ways You Can Help Disaster Survivors Recover Through UCC Disaster Ministries for More!

**  In other UCC Disaster Ministries news …

… UCC Disaster Ministries continues to assess needs and potential partners for disaster recovery in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian 

Youth Voice: The Right and Wrong Way to Help After a Disaster 

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