Ask a Disaster Coordinator: Why Give to UMCOR?


As we get Disaster Response questions we'll run them past our Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Rev. Scott Parrish. Here's a good one!

Question: With so many response organizations out there, why give to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)?

Answer: United Methodist churches, through what we once called One Great Hour of Sharing and now call UMCOR Sunday, plus undesignated gifts to UMCOR, provide the funding for UMCOR's slim staff and administrative overhead. That allows 100% of designated gifts to go to disasters. Find a helpful video and info at

The reality is that disasters take a range of partners--government, nonprofit, churches, etc.--and we all have different roles. For instance, Red Cross is the government piece of the solution, and they are usually there for a short time at the beginning. Red Cross provides food and sheltering, often in coordination with both the locals and the local churches. Red Cross will soon leave, and it's the other partners like UMCOR and later UMVIM that do the short term and long term work of disaster response and rebuilding. This sort of partnering is necessary.

I tend to love the church response, the way we connect and support sister churches and communities, and the fact we are there for the long term. (I won't comment on the difference between MREs - meals ready to eat - and cots versus a church's food and hospitality.)

Some support the short term government efforts through Red Cross, and I'd never throw shade toward that partner or any others, but the church support and work through UMCOR has substantive, long term impact. For us it's a great practice to assist sister annual conferences and churches in their time of need, plus we learn so much about serving God and neighbor through a crisis. And if our community ever has a disaster we'll have folk who remember us and come to our aid. 

Inspired to give? Donations can be made to UMCOR through any North Georgia Conference United Methodist Church. Clearly mark "UMCOR: US Disaster Response" (Fund Number 4390). Or give online at UMCOR's website

UMCOR has also let us know that there is a need for Relief Supplies. Find assembly instructions at If your church is assembling Relief Kits, contact Terry Raymond, the volunteer North Georgia Conference warehouse coordinator. He may be reached at

In addition to UMCOR Relief Kits, please consider donating items for muck-out, including: 
  • Box fans (To dry out houses following flooding.)
  • 25’ heavy duty 14 gauge extension cords (To move the fans around inside a home)
  • 2 gallon garden sprayers (To fight mildew and mold)
  • Flat billed shovels (Remove mud, wet carpet, pads, sheet rock insulation, etc.)
  • Rakes with 3” tines (Remove tree limbs, leaves and muck from inside homes and yards)
  • Wheel barrows (2 wheels, so they will not turn over going to the street)
Congregations are invited to send UMCOR Relief Kits or muck-out material to satellite/hub receiving sites (below), or to our Decatur, Ga. warehouse. Those supplies will then to be transported to the regional Decatur, Ala. warehouse, then on to Sager Brown and Houston region. 

Satellite locations receiving buckets/ kits/ and requested supplies during weekday business hours:
  • Trinity UMC Rome, 606 Turner Mccall Boulevard, Rome, GA 30165-2718
  • Gainesville First, 2780 Thompson Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506
  • Athens First, 327 N Lumpkin St, Athens, GA 30601
  • Covington First, 1113 Conyers St., Covington, GA 30014
  • Zoar UMC Snellville, 3895 Zoar Church Rd., Snellville, GA 30039
  • Hamilton Mill UMC Dacula, 1450 Pine Rd., Dacula, GA 30019
  • Powder Springs UMC, 4329 Marietta St., Powder Springs, GA 30127
  • Wesley UMC Evans, 825 North Belair Rd., Evans, GA 30809
  • Trinity on the Hill UMC Augusta, 1330 Monte Sano Ave., Augusta, GA 30904
  • Thomson First UMC, 353 Main St., Thomson, GA 30824
  • Elijay First UMC, 75 McCutchen St., Ellijay, GA 30540
  • Hillside UMC Woodstock, 4474 Towne Lake Pkwy., Woodstock, GA 30189
  • Barnesville First UMC, 375 Thomaston St., Barnesville, GA 30204
  • Cornerstone UMC Newnan, 2956 Highway 154, Newnan, GA 30265
Contact Scott Parrish, NGA conference disaster response coordinator, at