Statewide Radiothon for Columbia Strong


SuperTalk Mississippi led a 12-hour radiothon on April 14, 2015 to benefit Columbia Strong, an organization led by community leaders who volunteered to help the Columbia community recover from the devastating tornado of December 23, 2014. Its mission is to restore community and rebuild lives.

The Rev. Selber McShepard, pastor of New Zion United Methodist Church in Columbia and Mississippi Conference disaster response team member, shared with listeners how the disaster response arm of the Mississippi Conference trained several case workers and how the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) provided much assistance.  UMCOR will match a dollar for every two dollars raised up to $100,000.  
 A final tally of funds raised has not been released, but one SuperTalk show is reporting it produced roughly $12,000. For more information about Columbia Strong, click here
The next UMCOR Early Response Team meeting near your community: 
May 23, 2015 - Camp Wesley Pines, Hazelhurst, MS
June 20, 2015 - Galloway Memorial UMC, Jackson, MS
The mission of an Early Response Team (ERT) is to provide a caring Christian presence in the aftermath of a disaster.
An early response team fills a specific need in the early days after a disaster to establish the caring presence of the church and to provide hope for the survivors. Through the UMCOR/UMVIM partnership, you can serve with a team (typically 10-16 persons) or as an individual. Volunteers need to be in relatively good health, complete an application form, willing to pay his/her own way or help to raise team funds, and agree to attend training sessions conducted by the team leader prior to departure.
What do Early Response Teams do?

  • Provide a Christian presence
  • Take steps to prevent further damage to a family's personal property (stabilize)
  • Tarping
  • Debris removal
  • Cleaning out of flooded homes
  • May be asked to manage donated materials, gather information, or other things as deemed necessary by the community  
  • Observe survivor's needs and report these to the local operations
  • Be a part of the caring ministry of "listeners" who will help the survivor begin to heal
Certified ERTs are needed to respond to disaster in the days after they happen. For more details, contact the following people, Rev. CJ Caufield, or 601-940-7272 or Rev. David Cumbest,, 228-990-4880, Mississippi Conference disaster response coordinator.