From Phil Shea, SWC Disaster Coordinator:
Please see the updates below on UCC Disaster Ministries’ efforts following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We are starting to hear from some of our conference churches and members about how they are planning to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery. Next week we will share some examples and creative ways people are offering to help. We encourage you to donate to UCC Disaster Ministries through your congregation.
The Category 4 hurricane in Texas, followed by flooding that brought raging water halfway up their front doors, didn't wash out a small congregation 25 miles northwest of Houston for long. Christ United UCC in Cypress returned to their fellowship hall for worship on Sunday. "If you look past the water, you see God's hands at work doing marvelous things in people's hearts – wonderful," Christ United Pastor the Rev. Jeffrey Willey told his congregation on Sept. 10. UCC Disaster Ministries delivered 200 clean-up buckets to St. Paul UCC in Corpus Christi for distribution in Port Aransas along with a $ 2000 Solidarity Grant to supply food for the St. Paul UCC food pantry.
UCC Disaster Ministries has just contributed $10,000 toward a proactive program to prevent cholera and malnutrition in Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and to treat any instances that occur. The implementing partner is IMA World Health, which has had a significant presence in Haiti since 1998, including relationships with government and communities. United Church of Disaster Ministries teams are reaching out to pastors and congregations across the entire peninsula of South Florida, as all involved try to assess the damage left behind by Hurricane Irma. "Our denomination helps those nobody else is going to help. That process takes time to identify," said the Rev. Alan Coe, UCC Florida Conference disaster coordinator.