Anatomy of a United Methodist disaster response

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Year 1: Sandy recovery — The work of many hands

Sandy assumed several forms – tropical storm, hurricane, even “superstorm” – as it charted a path of destruction from the Caribbean to New York State at the end of October 2012. Whatever the description, the results were the same for hundreds of thousands. Everywhere in Sandy’s path, the people known as Methodists have been there to help survivors. Read how the force of Sandy unfolded and learn about those in its path.

Year 1: Sandy recovery — Different needs everywhere

From Santiago, Cuba, to Criswell, Md., to Far Rockaway, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn, Long Island and the Jersey shore, the recovery efforts began. The survivors shared common threads of need: immediate relief, assessment, repair, rebuilding and renewal from the emotional and spiritual toll. Learn what United Methodists did.

Year 1: Sandy recovery — Management the key

A rebuild averages four to five months and could take up to a year, but The United Methodist Church has become well known for disaster case management. “UMCOR is the gold standard,” said Bobbie Ridgely, director of A Future with Hope, Greater New Jersey’s Sandy relief organization. Read about how it works.

Year 1: Sandy recovery — Volunteers a lifeline

“If it wasn’t for them (the volunteers), believe me, it wouldn’t be the same,” said Hazel Gordon, who welcomed United Methodist volunteer teams from Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia and Alabama. “A lot of people, even in this block here, still aren’t finished.” Learn about ways in which the church made a difference.

Year 1: Sandy recovery — ‘Love Methodist volunteers’

Volunteers are the backbone of United Methodist disaster response and nobody knows that better than the people who set up the work opportunities. “I love my Methodist volunteers,” declared Gillian Prince, who works in the New York Conference’s Brooklyn relief office. “They are the best…they come in ready and willing to work.” Meet some of those volunteers.

Year 1: Sandy recovery — Mission teams needed

Since many volunteer in mission teams plan six months in advance, the advertisement and recruitment for spring and summer of 2014 is crucial right now, says UMCOR’s disaster relief coordinator for the U.S. Recovery from Sandy is expected to take years, so relief coordinators have to keep Sandy on the front-burner for a long time. Volunteers a critical need.


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Disaster Relief
Ced Franklin is assisted by sheriff’s officers before being evacuated after Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction in Matlacha, Florida, on Oct. 2. United Methodists in the region are assessing damage and responding to the needs of survivors in the wake of the deadly storm. At least 150 United Methodist churches have been damaged to varying extents, according to the Florida Conference’s disaster response coordinator. Photo by Marco Bello, REUTERS.

Hurricane recovery begins in Florida

United Methodists plan to lead the way to recovery after Hurricane Ian unleashed substantial damage in Florida and South Carolina. But volunteers are being asked to stay put until things get more organized.
A woman pushes her daughter in a stroller past the monastery for the Church of the Assumption in Cornești, Romania. The United Methodist Church in Romania is providing support for refugees from the war in Ukraine who are staying at the monastery. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Video: Romanian church’s hotel ministry houses Ukrainian refugees

A hotel and ministry center run by The United Methodist Church in Romania hosts numerous programs to help Ukrainian refugees, as well as the rest of the community.
Disaster Relief
The Revs. Rares Calugar (left) and Samuel Goia talk on a balcony at the United Methodist Hotel Hanul Fullton and community center in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. The church bought the hotel, which houses refugees from Ukraine in some of the rooms, while others are used to house charity nongovernmental organizations and some are rented to help fund ministries of the church. Calugar is superintendent of The United Methodist Church in Romania and Goia is pastor of Way of Faith United Methodist Church in Micesti.

Romanian hotel houses one-stop shop for ministry

A hotel and ministry center run by The United Methodist Church in Romania hosts numerous programs to help Ukrainian refugees, as well as the rest of the community.