We provide assistance in natural disasters through financial assistance and, more importantly, with volunteers who assist to facilitate rebuilding efforts. The ministry provides financial assistance through participation in the work of the long-term recovery committees that exist at the county level.
Skilled and unskilled volunteers assist with clean up and repairs from roofing to debris removal. By using volunteers, we are able to help communities in leveraging limited financial resources that are available following disasters.
Our recovery efforts date back to the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, include the tornados of 2006 and 2007, the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Fay in 2008, the 2009 Memorial Day floods, the tornados throughout the summer of 2009, and pretty much every natural disaster affecting the Southeast United States to the present day, including flooding in Louisiana, West Virginia, the Carolinas and the Tampa Bay area and Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts on Central Florida's East Coast, as well as Haiti, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, in 2016. With a projected 3-5 year recovery time, there are residents in parts of Florida that still need help to rebuild their homes and lives. We need volunteers in a number of communities.
In addition, along with the national setting of the United Church of Christ, we've supported recovery efforts related to typhoons in the Philippines, earthquakes in Ecuador, Nepal and Italy, and countless other natural disasters over the years.
Additional information is available from Bill Wealand at Bwealand@uccfla.org or (352) 406-4484.
In early 2008, our office launched the Disaster Coordinator program to build bridges between our congregations and the Florida Conference. Disaster Coordinators are vital to the livelihood of this ministry and can gain valuable experience serving as a volunteer for their congregation. Some resources that may be helpful in their mission to prepare and plan for their congregations and communities int the event of a future disaster are:
We are continually looking for skilled and unskilled volunteers to assist with clean-up and repairs from roofing to debris removal. We also need help researching innovative ways to integrate disaster ministry into worship, church education and youth activities. You can do this from home!
Each year, faith-based volunteers contribute time valued at $51.8 billion, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. That is almost as much as the U.S. Department of Education budget and one-sixth of the entire U.S. federal government non-military discretionary spending.
Volunteering is a great way to expand the ministry beyond the walls of the church.
There are many reasons to volunteer. Among them:
How to get started? Contact Bill Wealand at Bwealand@uccfla.org or (352) 406-4484 for more information.
God is still speaking