This part of the Ohio Conference will need short- and long-term assistance
Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster – for updates on flood recovery
The UCC and Ohio Conference disaster response ministries are mobilizing to provide help to the thousands of residents of West Virginia impacted by severe floods caused by June 23 storms that raged through the state.
Ohio Conference Disaster Response Team leader, Jim Ditzler, is one of many people working with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to determine needs, organize a response and provide assistance.
Ten counties have been declared federal disaster areas; 2,000 homes have been destroyed. Recovery from destruction on this scale will take years, but there are ways to help now and in the coming months. Jim Ditzler made these suggestions:
1.Donate money. In the immediate aftermath of a storm, the most helpful thing you can do is provide funds to help meet the immediate needs of people who have lost everything. Funds given to the established agencies “on the ground” can be used to purchase exactly what people need, when they need it. Gifts can be sent to the UCC’s USA Relief Fund or to the Ohio Conference Disaster Response Ministry, either online (choose “Disaster Response” from the designation drop-down menu and add “West Virginia flood” in the comments box) or by mail to Ohio Conference, 6161 Busch Blvd., Ste. 100, Columbus OH 43229. Make your check payable to the Ohio Conference; memo line: West Virginia flood.
2.Make disaster response kits. The Ohio Conference Team has already delivered more than 1,000 clean-up and health care kits to West Virginia. All have been distributed. Our entire stock is gone. We need our churches and groups to replenish our supply as soon as possible. Please consider making kit creation a service project at your next Association or organization meeting. Learn how to make kits here
3.Organize a work team for a trip in the Fall or beyond. It is too soon to go to West Virginia now. Trying to accommodate unexpected volunteers soon after a disaster can cause major headaches for local organizations trying to meet the immediate needs of disaster victims. But in a few months, when volunteer accommodations (housing, food, bathing, work identification) have been organized, work teams will be welcomed — and vitally important to recovery. When you have a team organized, please contact Jim Ditzler at 330-262-3242 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He will help you find a spot where your team can make a difference to someone recovering from these devastating floods.