In mid-September when Hurricane Florence was heading for the east coast, those of us in Raleigh breathed a sigh of relief as Florence took a turn south, and the impact to our immediate area was far less than it could have been. Those living east and south of Raleigh sustained over $24 billion in damages.
Now, our lives go on as usual. It is easy for us to forget how many people impacted by Hurricane Florence in neighboring towns continue to live one day at a time as they are displaced from their homes and waiting for assistance. When we see such devastation, it is easy to feel helpless – what can I possibly do to make a difference to such a big disaster?
Check out this recent WRAL News special, Florence - 6 Months Later, to see how the communities hit by Hurricane Florence are moving towards recovery.
Together we can make a difference.
The United Methodist Church has set up a Disaster Call Center (UMC DCC) to process requests for assistance and coordinate volunteers who want to help. They have been overwhelmingly busy and have established and staffed Centers to house volunteers throughout the east. Currently there are three levels of need: Mucking (cleaning out mud and damage), The Step-Up Program where homes are being minimally repaired so homeowners can return to live in at least a part of their home until full repairs can be made, and full home repair and reconstruction. It has been months, and there are many who are still waiting to get the mud shoveled out of their homes! The road ahead for them is long!
In response to this need, mission trips are being planned for Good Shepherd:
- Wednesday, May 15 (evening) through Saturday, May 18 (evening) - Newport, NC
- Sunday, June 23 (afternoon) through Wednesday, June 26 (evening) - Whiteville, NC
There are many ways to help with this trip even if you can’t go.
While there is no cost to this trip, we are required to provide our own meals. There will be an opportunity to prepare meals to send with the work crews. There may even be a couple of spots for someone to go to prepare and serve meals, hang out at the work center, and help staff while the rest of our team is out in the field working. They are also in need of school kits, so there is an opportunity for Sunday Morning Education classes, small groups, families…anyone that wants to work together to assemble kits. There are other ways to help as well.
How can I learn more?
An informational meeting is being held in Fellowship Hall at 12:00 pm on Sunday, March 17. Serving with the UMC disaster response is open to anyone 14+, and youth and college students are encouraged to join the team.
Come and see how you can help. If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like more information, please contact the church office.
Mission Trip Forms
- Policies and Guidelines (view/download)
- What to Bring (view/download)
- Health Risk Information (view/download)
- Participant Forms - complete and return to church (view/download)
School kit information is available here.