Simply put, the Louisiana Conference Disaster Response needs people and money to complete the task at hand.
Without the labor power provided by volunteer construction and assistance teams, it will be impossible to complete the tremendous amount of work needed to get people back into their flooded homes.
Just as important are the financial gifts from individuals, churches, United Methodist conferences and others that will help pay for needed materials for each rebuild.
“Gifts of money are critical to drive the response. We do not, however, have a way to use donations of materials. Because of the two flooding periods, warehouse space is currently at a minimum. And getting the right materials to the right job site is a tremendous challenge. It is more helpful if we can purchase needed supplies with the use of financial gifts,” said Debra T. Davis, Ph.D., who is serving the Louisiana Conference as the new Disaster Response Director.
“These are more than just houses!” says Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey. “The word ‘home’ is really important right now as people just simply don’t have a sense of place and having a sense of place is part of our DNA as human beings. So, this work is just incredibly important and critical to the value of people, and in a larger sense, community.”
So, how can you help as a hands-on volunteer? If you are an individual, approach your church’s Mission Coordinator to form a team. Perhaps your Sunday school class or small group would like to volunteer by forming a disaster response team. “Don’t hesitate to volunteer if you don’t know much about construction—there is skills training onsite,” said Davis.
There is a small financial commitment for each response volunteer. Each person is asked to provide $15 per night to stay with a host church. In addition, teams are asked to provide $100 per member for materials to be used at the job site. “Although teams are needed in every area of the state affected by flooding, we are especially in need of groups to work in the Monroe and Leesville areas that have been affected by the spring floods,” said Davis.
If you feel compelled to help the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, please visit our web site: www.LouisianaDisasterResponse.com