GIVE: Episcopal Relief & Development – Disaster Relief

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP

Please pray for all those impacted by disasters of all kinds–COVID-19, wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, explosions and more. So many are experiencing personal loss, hardship, barriers and inconvenience in ways that seem unimaginable.

Though efforts are being made internationally as well as national, state and local levels, with grass roots organizations and countless self-sacrificing individuals, we find ourselves at various stages of a very long process all over the map. Church communities often serve as a place people turn to for comfort and assistance within their surrounding community. Under the current COVID-19 mandates, with social distancing with varying restrictions depending on local, we are invited to participate in new and creative ways to gather online and provide support.

One of Christ’s core commandments to His followers is to love thy neighbor as thy self. It’s important that we reach out to care for the most vulnerable members and neighbors of these communities.

PLEASE HELP – SO MANY COMMUNITIES ARE BEING IMPACTED BY DISTASTERS
Your donation to Episcopal Relief & Development will provide the Church and our partners in the communities they serve with resources to provide critical emergency assistance to those in greatest need.

To keep updated on our efforts LOCALLY AND AROUND THE GLOBE, go to Episcopal Relief & Development’s 2020 Press Releases

Please GIVE in support of our collective efforts by following the link: MAKE A DONATION to Episcopal Relief & Development, choose from the list of funds, select the amount you would like to donate, and click “Give.”

With heartfelt gratitude, we Thank You for any and all contributions. 

Consider, too, becoming a PRAYER PARTNER and receiving inspirational prayers  – “ACCOMPANY US IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY AND DURING TIMES OF CELEBRATION.”

Back to top

Supporting Global Disaster Relief Efforts in Puerto Rico, Australia, Philippines & Beyond

There are ways we can respond to natural disasters when they occur. We can pray for those affected and those taking action in response. We can also give of our financial resources in a very practical way by making a donation to Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD).

In light of the recent earthquakes in Puerto Rico, please read ERD’s latest press release below…

Web Statement – Press Release reprinted from Episcopal Relief & Development

January 16, 2020

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico (Iglesia Episcopal Puertorriqueña) in response to the series of earthquakes that hit the island in recent weeks.

Multiple strong earthquakes have struck the southern part of Puerto Rico beginning in late December 2019, damaging buildings, knocking out power, and injuring many people. These quakes are the most damaging to strike the island since 1918.

Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program team has been in daily contact with diocesan staff, providing support and counsel as they assess the damage and needs of affected communities. Programa REDES, the diocese’s disaster response team, is delivering critical supplies such as bottles of water and ready to eat foods to those in need, particularly in Yauco and Guánica. Potential aftershocks and additional earthquakes make safety a concern for the teams who are conducting assessments and providing relief to those impacted.

“The Diocese of Puerto Rico has extensive experience responding to natural disasters, particularly in the past several years,” said Abigail Nelson, Executive Vice President, Episcopal Relief & Development. “Their preparation and deep community connections are impressive and enable diocesan leaders to be Christ’s hands and feet in these challenging times.”

Please continue to pray for all those affected by the earthquakes in Puerto Rico.

Donations to the Disaster Response Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development continue to provide emergency assistance to individuals and families affected by disasters such as these earthquakes, the fires in Australia and the volcano eruption in the Philippines.

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease.

Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Photo Courtesy of the Episcopal Diocese of Puerto Rico

Back to top

Episcopal Relief & Development’s Response to Hurricane Dorian

RESPONDING TO HURRICANE DORIAN

Episcopal Relief & Development continues to support dioceses in the path [and aftermath] of Hurricane Dorian…

“Disasters have three phases: rescue, relief and recovery,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director for Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “…We are still in the very early stages of this crisis. Impacted dioceses are prepared to respond and begin assessing damage as soon as it is safe to do so.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO to Help ?

PRAY: Please pray for all those affected by disasters, especially those most recently in the path of the Hurricane Dorian. So many are experiencing personal loss, hardship, barriers and inconvenience in ways that can seem unimaginable to the average person.

Though efforts are being made for continued operations to rescue and restore areas affected, some are just in the beginning stages of a very long process. Church communities often serve as a place people turn to for comfort and assistance at a local level.

GIVE: One of the best things we can do is to GIVE! One of Christ’s core commandments to His followers is to love thy neighbor as thyself. It’s important that we reach out to care for the most vulnerable members and neighbors of these communities. Please consider making a financial donation. Using the following link – submit all contributions directly to Hurricane Relief Fund.

In addition to the online donations link, St. Thomas will make available leaflets/church bulletin inserts on the back table of the Narthex (just inside the church sanctuary’s double red doors) with instructions on how to make a donation in support Episcopal Relief & Development and its response to Hurricane Dorian.

Your donations will help provide support to the Church and other local partners as they provide critical emergency assistance to those in greatest need.

It is with heartfelt gratitude that we Thank You for any and all contributions to Episcopal Relief & Development. 🙂

EPISCOPAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT News & Updates

For news & updates from Episcopal Relief & Development regarding its ongoing response to Hurricane Dorian, please refer to Episcopal Relief & Development.

ABOUT EPISCOPAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Photo courtesy of NOAA Satellites; Image courtesy of Episcopal Relief & Development.

Back to top

Hurricane Relief thru Episcopal Relief & Development

DONATE TO THE HURRICANE RELIEF FUND

For over 75 years, Episcopal Relief & Development has been working together with supporters and partners for lasting change around the world. Each year the organization facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives for more than 3 million people struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease. Inspired by Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, Episcopal Relief & Development leverages the expertise and resources of Anglican and other partners to deliver measurable and sustainable change in three signature program areas: Women, Children and Climate.

Please prayerfully consider how you can help and follow the link to the Episcopal Relief & Development website to make a monetary donation to The Hurricane Relief Fund.
____________________________________________

(Reprinted from Episcopal Relief & Development)
October 12, 2018

Assessing and Responding to Hurricane Michael

Episcopal Relief & Development continues to support partner churches and dioceses as they assess the damage and impact of Hurricane Michael.

The Episcopal Relief & Development US Disaster team met again today with dioceses impacted by Hurricane Michael, the strongest hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle in recorded history. Diocesan leaders are continuing to assess the destruction caused by this storm that hit earlier this week and to serve those affected. Episcopal Relief & Development will continue these coordination calls next week.

“From Highway 79 to the eastern edge of our diocese, the road conditions are still not safe for anyone to travel,” said The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick, diocesan bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast in a video posted on Thursday. “Please be patient. Let’s let the trained responders do their jobs and make the conditions safe so we can get in there and help as necessary.”

Bishop Kendrick and other diocesan staff are driving to Panama City and other affected areas in the Central Gulf Coast today to personally assess the damage, particularly to the communities that are located on the water.

The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia reports significant damage in Albany, Brainbridge, Americus and the surrounding counties. Tree damage was significant in Albany, affecting the infrastructure and leaving many without power or potable water. In Bainbridge and Decatur County, roofs were blown off and trees took out power lines, blocked streets, and crashed into houses. The diocese has been communicating with congregational leaders usingAlertMedia, a cloud-based disaster communications tool provided by Episcopal Relief & Development.

Over 117,000 people are without electricity in the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Carolina. In some areas, power had only recently been restored after Hurricane Florence. In addition to the physical effects, Hurricane Michael has had an emotional toll on the communities who were still recovering from Hurricane Florence.

“The local dioceses are continuing to assess the damage caused by the storm,” said Katie Mears, Senior Director of Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program. “Disasters have three phases: rescue, relief and recovery. We are prepared to support them as we move into the next phase of providing relief to affected communities.”

Bishop Kendrick concluded his update with a prayer for the people in the communities impacted by Hurricane Michael, their families and friends waiting to hear updates and the first responders who are providing rescue.

Please continue to pray for those impacted by Hurricane Michael. Donations to the Hurricane Relief Fund will help Episcopal Relief & Development respond to this crisis.
_________________________________________________

Take a moment to read the letter below by Josephine Hicks, Vice President for Episcopal Church Programs at Episcopal Relief & Development outlining what happens after a natural disaster and what’s needed in terms of our support during the various phases of rescue, relief and recovery efforts.

Photo: Florida National Guard

HURRICANE FLORENCE 2018: HOW CAN I HELP?

(Reprinted from Episcopal Relief & Development)

As I sit in Charlotte, North Carolina, I understand the roller coaster of emotions felt by people throughout many states bordering the Atlantic – concern, anxiety, relief, renewed concern – as forecasts and models for Hurricane Florence morphed and cast the Cone of Uncertainty in different directions in the days before it made landfall. Like you, I am now deeply saddened to see the devastation experienced in the Carolinas, which will likely grow worse as rivers and waterways continue to rise.

When we see images of people suffering, we want to do something to help. Of course we do. As Christians, we are called to seek and serve Christ in all people and never more so than in times of crisis.

For those impacted by Hurricane Florence, please follow the advice of your local authorities. Take care of yourself and your loved ones. Otherwise, you won’t be able to help anyone else later on. As the airlines remind us: “Put on your own oxygen mask first before you help others.”

For those of us observing and praying from lesser impacted areas and from areas untouched by Florence, it’s important to remember that this is a marathon and not a sprint. Equally important to remember, as with many things in life: Timing can be everything. Understanding the phases following a disaster can be useful in determining how you can help.

After most disasters there are three distinct, if sometimes overlapping, phases: Rescue, Relief and Recovery.

Phase 1 – Rescue

The Rescue phase focuses on saving lives and securing property. It is most acute in those parts of a region that are directly flooded or damaged. Police, fire departments and other government agencies are best able to do this work. They have training and expertise, and they have equipment that can clear roads and debris and find people. The Rescue phase can take one to two weeks, sometimes longer.

In the case of Hurricane Florence, the rescue phase is just beginning. It can be heartbreaking to watch, I know. However, I urge all of us to be patient. Please pray for those who are suffering and for the professionals who are risking their lives to save others. Fortunately, many people people evacuated from the coastal and low-lying areas in North and South Carolina, and professionals are rescuing many who became trapped by rapidly rising waters.

Phase 2 – Relief

Next is the Relief phase. We and our partners begin preparing for this phase once we understand the magnitude of an event. During this phase, the local church will be one of the first places people go to seek assistance and shelter. Because they are prepared and experienced in disaster response, we know that our partners in the impacted dioceses will be active in the Relief phase. This is where Episcopal Relief & Development can support our partners.

Phase 3 – Recovery

Eventually, we get to the third and final phase: Recovery. During this period, the emphasis shifts to restoring services, repairing houses and buildings, returning individuals to self-sufficiency and rebuilding communities. Hurricane Florence presents two challenges in this regard. First, the double whammy of Rescue on top of Recovery: many communities that are now being inundated with rain and rising water from Hurricane Florence are still recovering from Hurricane Matthew’s impact in 2016.

The second challenge of the Recovery phase is that most of the television cameras and attention have moved on, but the human suffering has grown. It is a chronic state, not a crisis. However, this is the phase in which the Church excels. Our churches are part of the communities that have been impacted and can best identify needs and work with the community to address them efficiently and effectively.

This may still leave you wondering: How can I help?

Financial Support

Now is the time to offer financial support. Contributing to Episcopal Relief & Development will ensure that we have enough resources to support the work of our church partners as they serve the most vulnerable in their communities. They are best positioned to assess needs and timing for response efforts.

One of the immediate ways Episcopal Relief & Development and our partners help individuals is by handing out gift cards to local stores so that people can choose what they need the most. It not only affords people dignity but it also helps stimulate the local economy, which needs to recover post-disaster.

Volunteering

The best approach is to wait until those affected have indicated what kind of support is most needed and whether they are ready to house and utilize volunteers. Inserting ourselves at the appropriate time alleviates additional stress and complications that can actually make things worse. If you think you would like to volunteer please register with Episcopal Relief & Development’s Ready to Serve database. This list of volunteers will be shared with the impacted dioceses once they are ready to use and support volunteers. They will contact you if and when they need help.

Donating Goods

My firm recommendation is don’t do it. Piles of discarded clothing in parking lots after Hurricane Katrina and SuperStorm Sandy teach us not to send clothes or shoes or things. After major disasters, diocesan staff have limited capacity to receive, store or distribute donated goods. Here’s a great article about the challenges of communities receiving donated goods: here.

Getting Prepared

As a reminder, September is National Preparedness Month. If were not impacted directly by Hurricane Florence, now is a great opportunity for you and your loved ones to prepare for disasters. Check out these helpful resources and tips: here. You can select 1 or 2 things to do each week. By the end of the month, you will feel less anxiety and more prepared to face a sudden disaster or event.

An effective response requires us to discern what is most helpful and appropriate at any given time. Let’s continue to hold those directly impacted in our hearts and prayers throughout their recovery, long after the media images fade.


Josephine Hicks is the Vice President for Episcopal Church Programs at Episcopal Relief & Development.

Images: Top; Flooding, Middle; Debris in road as a result of hurricane, Bottom; 3 phases of hurricane response.

Back to top

Disaster Relief – Episcopal Relief & Development & more

EPISCOPAL RELIEF & DEVELOPMENT U.S. DISASTER FUND

Please support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the fires in Northern California, Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria, tornadoes, earthquakes and more by making a donation to the U.S. Disaster Fund.

PUERTO RICO RELIEF UPDATE

In the wake of Hurricane Maria which caused unprecedented devastation in Puerto Rico when it swept through on September 20, the Episcopal News Service reports that the crisis is still ongoing. Coordinating donations with local agencies to get basic supplies to those who most need it is a logistics challenge that Episcopal Relief & Development is working on daily, along with many others. Read the full story here and consider supporting ER&D’s Hurricane Relief Fund to have a donation targeted specifically to hurricane-damaged areas.

FOCUS ON NORTHERN CALIFORNIA FIRES

In addition to donations through Episcopal Relief and Development mentioned above, here are other ways to respond:

DIOCESE OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA BISHOP’S DISCRETIONARY FUND

Bishop Barry, Canon Andrea, Margaret Dunning, and other clergy and staff of the Diocese of Northern California continue to work closely with Episcopal Relief & Development. The organization has approved a grant for the diocese’s fire relief effort and disbursement of that money will begin this week. Donations can be made to the bishop’s discretionary fund.

PRAYERS

Pray for all those impacted, including those affected by the Bear Fire, and for all firefighters and personnel battling the fire.

ECR DIOCESAN CONVENTION OFFERING

Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves has announced that the offering at our 2017 Diocesan Convention in Salinas will be directed to the Diocese of Northern California to support relief work and rebuilding.

WEBSITE FOR UP-TO-DATE FIRE INFO

For accurate and current information on the 2017 fires, please visit the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services website. The site features an updated overview, traffic conditions and road closures, wildfire maps, and more.

Back to top