We are aware of the disasters that have already occurred this year around the world. In the U.S., hurricane season (officially begins June 1) has made an early start with Tropical Storm Alberto sitting off the Eastern Coast. Since the beginning of January, CWS has shipped thousands of kits – baby kits, clean up buckets, school kits and hygiene kits to assist people impacted by disasters. Your help is urgently needed to increase supplies that are currently available in the CWS warehouses. Most needed are baby kits, clean up buckets and school kits. Here is a link to the CWS brochure that includes information about kit ingredients and shipping. Please share this with our local church members and other friends within your Conference. Your help to communities in need is greatly appreciated.
In cooperation with the national offices of the United Church of Christ, our Disaster Response Team is a network of persons from local churches throughout the conference who provide resources for churches in helping victims of disaster domestically and internationally, and coordinates efforts to assist our churches and members if disaster strikes in our midst. A strong emphasis is placed on providing pastoral care and counseling for victims and caregivers.
The Disaster ministry of the New York Conference is coordinated by the Disaster Response Team (DiRT). Activities of the DiRT group include trying to train a volunteer from each congregation – or cluster of congregations. Periodic training programs are held at various locations around the state. The Disaster Ministry is doing a lot of recovery work from Hurricane Irene and tropical storm Lee. In Schoharie County work groups from Hudson Mohawk Association have been helping recovery. Around Binghamton, the UCC Conference has partnered with several denominations to form “Faith Partners in Recovery.The First Congregational Church UCC in Binghamton rooms are adjacent to a kitchenette. The facilities are available for out-of-town disaster relief workers who want to help with the recovery. Reservations to use the space can be made through the United Church of Christ in Cleveland.
The DiRT is also building two tool trailers to have equipment available for disaster workers. One trailer has been purchased, lettered and is being stocked with tools. The emphasis is on rebuilding homes that have been gutted to clear mud and mold from them. There will also be some flood cleanup tools such as pressure washers, blowers and dehumidifiers. Donations are being collected to purchase tools such as saws, generators, drills, ladders, etc. Donations may be sent to the conference office marked “tool trailer”.
Disaster Ministry Coordinator
Wider Church Ministry Coordinator
Earl O Ward
Rev. Howard Cain
Rev. Amos Acree
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