UMCOR and North Georgia Conference offer opportunities to provide emergency aid
By GLENN HANNIGAN
It was the type of devastation normally associated with powerful summer hurricanes that plague the South. But the aftereffects of Hurricane Sandy have had various survivors comparing ravaged areas of New York and New Jersey to third-world countries.
The images of destruction boggle the imagination: boats piled up on top of one another, neighborhoods flattened, historic resort areas destroyed, roads ripped apart or buried under sand.
More than 110 people perished in the storm, which wiped out much of the coastline of New Jersey and parts of New York City. While officials are still assessing the damage it is already evident that the unusual fall hurricane will be one of the costly storms in history. The cleanup will be going on for many months. Rebuilding efforts will take far longer.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has already distributed nearly 20,000 cleaning buckets in five states, from Maryland to New York.
Churches in the North Georgia Conference are being encouraged to assemble cleaning buckets and school kits. Instructions on putting together UMCOR kits can be found at www.umcor.org.
There are several collection sites in the conference where you can take assembled kits, including Northside UMC in Atlanta, Central UMC in Atlanta and Fairburn UMC. Go to www.ngumc.org for an updated list.
You can also give $55 (the cost of a cleaning bucket) and the supplies will be bought and assembled by UMCOR. The North Georgia Flood Bucket Fund number is 7520.
At this point in the storm crisis, all efforts to help victims remain in the emergency and rescue stage. UMVIM (United Methodist Volunteers in Mission) will communicate via email, Facebook posts, and Twitter any news received by the conference.
Churches are encouraged to take a special offering and make checks payable to your local church with "Hurricanes 2012" in the memo line. The fund number is UMCOR Hurricanes 2012 Advance #3021787. You can also use a cellphone to make an immediate $10 donation by texting the word RESPONSE to 80888.
You can keep up with the latest developments on the UMC Connections Blog: www.umcconnections.org. The United Methodist News Service is providing updates throughout the day and you can also subscribe to Emergency Alerts from North Georgia Conference at www.ngumc.org/site/stayconnected.