Recent Flooding in Maryland and Louisiana: How to help give and receive help
Bethany is collecting money, food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies for the Ellicott city residents and businesses displaced by the flood as well as for the emergency personnel and volunteers on site. This will be ongoing. Monetary donations, food and household items donated in August will go toward Ellicott City flood relief. Monetary donations should be clearly marked "EC Flood Relief" and placed in the collection plate. Food and household items can be dropped off in Fellowship Hall at Bethany UMC.
There are two primary ways that any local church can help in these situations. The first is to contribute to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to support the full time personnel, supplies, and equipment needed for the disaster response and setting up the long term rebuilding plan. Dollars may not seem as "glamorous" as baby formula, shovels or bottles of water, but it is much easier to transport and apply as needed. The other primary help is preparing Relief Kits such as Cleaning Buckets or Health Kits for distribution.
UMCOR has warehouses across the country stocked with Relief Kits and other supplies ready for the next truck headed to an area of immediate need. As these kits are currently being sent to Ellicott City and Louisiana, the shelves will need to be restocked for the next disaster. Putting together Relief Kits can be done by a family or small group or as a larger church effort. For details about specific immediate needs and instructions for Relief Kits seehttp://missioncentral.org/how-can-i-help/donate-items/
In the Baltimore West Conference (BWC) of the United Methodist Church, we have three 'mini-hubs' which collect flood buckets and transport them up to the main storage facility called Mission Central in Pennsylvania. These mini-hubs are in Maryland at Bentley Springs UMC in Parkton, Liberty Grove UMC in Burtonsville, and St Matthews UMC in Bowie. For more information about these hubs see http://missioncentral.org/hubs/ . The BWC Mission Center in Fulton is not currently collecting donations.
While the Volunteer in Mission teams have not yet been called in, there are opportunities to serve with secular groups. Learn more at the Glen Mar UMC website at glenmarumc.org/flood_relief . We'll be sharing more information about VIM opportunities in Ellicott City and Louisiana and Texas as soon as they become available. We pray you'll join us in sending funds or creating cleaning buckets and health kits.
As we read in Romans 15:13, we claim the prayer: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Amen.
Rev. David Graves Rev. Joan Carter-Rimbach
BWC Disaster Response Coordinator BWC UMVIM Coordinator