Mission Central relief agency responding to New York needs in aftermath of Sandy, waiting for other

“Just because you see a little girl crying on the news because she lost her dolly in the hurricane, don’t start a toy drive.”

So advised Patti Glasser, director of operations for Mission Central, the mission warehouse of the Susquehanna Annual (regional) Conference. In Mechanicsburg, Pa., about three hours from the Big Apple, Glasser and her staff of five already are responding to Hurricane Sandy-related needs from New York. They are waiting to hear from other affected states.

When a disaster occurs, Glasser explained, “we have to allow nature to take its course. First, the floodwaters come, then they recede, then disaster coordinators go into the area and assess the damage and see what is needed.” The next step is to coordinate resources – both people and supplies.

Mission Central staff shipped 1,000 cleaning buckets to hurricane survivors in New York, Glasser said. Eventually, she anticipates thousands more of the buckets will be requested from New Jersey and Delaware.

Urgent needs

Current urgent needs are personal insect repellant spray (6-14 ounces), liquid household cleaner (12- or 16-ounce bottles) and liquid laundry detergent (25- or 50 ounces). “Ultimately,” Glasser added, “we will need the entire contents of the cleaning buckets.”

What doesn’t Mission Central need?

“Clothing and toys,” Glasser replied. “Quite honestly, people are so kindhearted and giving,” and they want to do something. But unsolicited donations overwhelm staff and volunteers.

“When people don’t even have food and clean water, their needs are very basic. People have to be patient and respond to specific requests.”

Founded a decade ago, Mission Central, along with satellite “HUBS,” supplies humanitarian goods and logistical services to hundreds of ministry and social service agencies. The agency hosts 9,000 to 10,000 volunteers annually.

“God is at work”

Mission Central processes United Methodist Committee on Relief “Relief Kits” for use around the world, provides needed supplies for local and national ministries and assists projects that share God’s love around the world.

“Mission Central,” said former board member and active United Methodist Stephen Drachler, “does a tremendous job responding to natural disasters around the world. God is at work through these dedicated disciples of Christ.”

To learn more about Mission Central, go to http://www.missioncentral.org/. Ship or deliver donations to Mission Central, 5 Pleasant View Drive, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. Make monetary donations on the organization’s website or mail checks to the address above.

*Dunlap-Berg is internal content editor at United Methodist Communications, Nashville, Tenn.

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
Mission and Ministry
Over 30,000 pounds of food provided by Feed America First is distributed to those in need in Wilson County, Tenn. Lebanon First United Methodist Church in Lebanon, Tenn. was able to restock its food pantry as well as help provide a week’s worth of food to over 350 families. Pictured are John Stephens and Laura Headley, members of Lebanon First United Methodist Church. Photo by the Rev. Ryan Bennett.

Prayers, donations help in aftermath of storms

March storms left behind lots of damage, but because of COVID-19, church leaders are urging safety first, cleanup later.
The Rev. Thomas Kim. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

Enforced COVID-19 isolation recalls days in prison

The Rev. Thomas Kim reflects on how the enforced isolation recalls his time in prison. While that isolation is hard to take, he writes that it is nearly impossible to take the racism and xenophobia aimed at Asian Americans.
The Rev. Knut Refsdal. Photo by Karl A. Ellingsen

God’s role in times of crisis

Humanity has never found a good explanation for why there is suffering in the world. Why do so many seem to accept that bad answers are better than no answers?