By Tamica Smith Jeuitt, Sr. Communications Specialist
As a case manager on the Mississippi Conference disaster response team, Mellie Jordan continues to follow-up with her client Ellen Glenn, an elderly woman whose home was destroyed in the April 28, 2014 tornado that touched down in Louisville. Glenn's home is being repaired by United Methodist volunteers which means Jordan stays in contact with her through frequent visits and phone calls until the work is complete. Over the time, the ladies have become friends.
"Sometimes I take my kids with me (ages five, three and two) and they love seeing Ms. Glenn," said Jordan, who initially met Glenn the day after the storm while delivering food to Glenn on behalf of First Louisville UMC where Jordan volunteered. "So I was so happy to see that she was still getting help when I became her case manager.
In the days before Mississippi United Methodists engage in a statewide special offering to fund emergency preparedness, David Cumbest, the Mississippi Conference's disaster response coordinator is encouraging people to give on Sunday, July 27, 2014.
"Mississippi is a state filled with an abundance of resources, beautiful landscapes and wonderful people, but living here is not without risk. The clouds that bring the rain to nourish this land also bring in tornados and hurricanes. It is not a matter of 'if' we will have another disaster, but 'when' will we have another disaster," said Cumbest.
For those reasons, Cumbest wants people to know their monetary gifts will be used to respond to people like Ellen with disaster-caused needs and provide training for new emergency response team volunteers.
The conference coordinator for the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM), David Newton said that volunteers are actively assisting other survivors of the devastating April tornado that also touched down in the Tupelo area. Since then, there's been an increase of disaster workers.
"As a covenant community we are compelled through grace to respond. The United Methodist Connection offers hope as it points people to Jesus Christ through serving as His body," said Newton.
The Mississippi Conference disaster response team closely follows the guidelines of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) bringing aid to the most helpless when disasters strike.
Individuals should give their checks through their church designated for the emergency preparedness offering. Churches can remit these amounts with their regular monthly mission shares. Non-Mississippi United Methodists can submit their offerings to: 320-A Briarwood Drive, Jackson, MS, 39206.
Photo right: Ellen Glenn, pictured far right is with a couple of United Methodist volunteers who delivered food to her following the tornado that destroyed her home in April 2014.