Remarkable stories as recovery continues

3/18/2008

The United Methodist Church is one of the top 10 homebuilders in Mississippi! We have 32 new “builds” in process on the coast through our continued disaster recovery ministry. These homes cost between $45,000-$65,000 due to volunteer labor and materials provided at greatly reduced cost. Each home is funded through partnerships beyond The United Methodist Church.

 Our case management system has leveraged $1.8 million through partnerships with other organizations. As other groups phase out their recovery operations, they are turning to The United Methodist Church and we are absorbing incomplete cases. Once again, The United Methodist Church is demonstrating our commitment for long-term recovery.

 Many helping groups phased out long ago. Samaritan’s Purse will phase out in May. The Salvation Army and Red Cross will phase out in October. Soon we will be the “last standing.”

Through United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) we have in place a plan for two more years of recovery. We will have three volunteer camps – Camp Hope in Vancleave, Camp Love at Nugent UMC in Gulfport and Gulfside in Waveland.

Our capacity in these three camps is 160 volunteers per week. These facilities are fully booked, except for some weeks in the heat of August, through October.

The warehouses that we have in place are helping us save 40 percent to 60 percent on building materials. They have already paid for themselves in savings realized.

These are examples of the way the system of United Methodist recovery works well over time in disaster recovery. We are recognized by all as the denomination that offers vital and thorough case management, that has staying power, that can be counted on over time. 

 I hope each of you will help your congregation know the strength of the United Methodist connection in places of great need.

There is no perfect response in the wake of disaster. However, there is faithful response, heartfelt response, persevering response, loving response, patient response.

Thank you for continuing to offer these good gifts until the last family impacted by Katrina is back home.