Garth Brooks concert helps United Methodists help others


Garth Brooks’ concerts help United Methodists help others

One thing was obvious when Garth Brooks took the stage to help Tennessee flood victims rebuild their lives: His heart was definitely in it.

“Playing music has never felt better or ever felt more right…. I am really honored to have been a part of this happening,” said Brooks.

Brooks and Trisha Yearwood joined forces last December with a nine-concert series of record-breaking performances to raise $5 million for Nashville flood relief. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee announced that initial grant allocations of $1.37 million have been divvied up among a variety of nonprofit agencies, including the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)—Tennessee Annual (Regional) Conference.

The Tennessee Conference has received $200,000 to continue its work to provide help to flood victims with needs that would otherwise be left unmet.

Brandon Hulette, director of mercy, mission and disaster recovery for the Tennessee Conference, said the money will be used in multi-faceted ways to meet the long-term needs of individuals in Nashville and Davidson County.

“Caseworkers will look at each case in a holistic fashion and develop an individual recovery plan which could include anything from help with construction, basic human needs or even help dealing with mental health issues,” he said. “We will then use these funds to help meet those needs in conjunction with our partners in recovery.”

 The money received from the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee as a result of the concerts will be added to conference funds already designated for flood relief in 31 counties across Tennessee. Hulette estimates that, to date, the conference has spent approximately $170,000 to provide direct assistance in affected areas. - By Susan Passi-Klaus