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Ways to Help in a Disaster

Churches and individuals not directly affected by a disaster feel called to love their neighbor by providing financial donations, food, shelter and clean up kits in the immediate aftermath of a disaster and by assisting with rebuilding in the long-term recovery. UCC Disaster Ministries can provide Solidarity Grants to churches responding to disaster with grants of up to $3,000 in as little as 7-10 days. Contact your Disaster Ministry Coordinator to apply for that grant. In the weeks immediately following a disaster please pay close attention to our News section and our email updates for information about the response.

Email Disaster Ministry Coordinator Brice Hughes

Other Way Churches can help:

Pray. God hears and responds, and God changes our hearts when we pray. Praying for others is always life-changing. Add those affected by flooding to your worship prayers. Prayers for Disasters from the national UCC. 

Donate to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), which supports disaster and refugee ministries. The UCC encourages you to donate generally to this fund rather than specifically to this or other disasters. Frequently there are small amounts of designated funds leftover after a disaster that cannot be used for other purposes. OGHS is among the best places to donate — more than 90% of your donation gets to its intended location.

You can designate to the current Midwest Flooding or other particular disasters through UCC Special Relief.

The Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota conferences also have special funds designated for disaster recovery ministries managed by conference staff and/or conference boards of directors. To give to those ministries, send a check marked with “state-Disaster Ministries” in the memo line to our Des Moines office: 5609 Douglas Ave., Des Moines, IA 50310.

Assemble Clean-Up Kits Assemble the kits at your church. The UCC has grants to help pay for the costs of purchasing supplies for clean up kits. Deliver those kits locally to centers in West Des Moines, IA and Lincoln, NE.

West Des Moines Christian Church
4501 Mills Civic Parkway
West Des Moines, IA 50265
(515) 223-1639
Email Luke Ehrhardt

Drop off Dates and times from March 25 – April 19, 2019:

Monday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Tuesday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Wednesday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m
Thursday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church
8300 East Pointe Road
Lincoln, NE 68506
Email Ed Schnabel

Dropoff dates and times, year round (Other times may be arranged by appointment):

Monday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Tuesday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. 
Wed 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Thursday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Saturday (by appointment only)
Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

Clean Houses. Learn how to join the effort In Nebraska and Iowa.

If you want to get your hands dirty, there are many groups organizing volunteer teams right now to help muck out homes in Glenwood, Iowa. If you can give a day, or even an hour, here is the contact information for a number of agencies helping in that area:

All Hands and Hearts
Phuong Le
As needed muck and gut debris removal/mold sanitization

Christian Aid Ministries
Steve Reber
Statewide muck out crew

Convoy of Hope
Jason Anderson
Statewide muck out crew

Hope Force International
Joey Stoltzfus
Statewide cleanup; muck out; spiritual/emotional/mental healthcare

International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)
Alexis Rouches
Statewide cleanup; removal 

Lifegate Church (State Patrol Chaplain)  
Deb Hoffman
Statewide muck out crew 

Northeast Nebraska COAD
Wayne Briner
Statewide cleanup; muck out; debris removal; feeding service; IT support

Operation Blessing
Tom Wiley
Statewide 30+ self-deploy muck out; Crisis Cleanup jobs

Team Rubicon
Amanda Stricker

Christa McDermont
Heavy equipment; demolition; mold abatement 

World Review Disaster Relief Services
Ben Dykstra
Statewide cleanup; muck out; chainsaw, tools, equipment

Help Rebuild. Although the UCC has assistance for communities in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, it specializes in long-term recovery, staying for years after the news cameras have left an affected area. If you or your church would like to help locally, contact the disaster ministry coordinator for the current places needing assistance.

Prepare. Your community may have escaped disasters in the past, but it may be affected next. Disaster Ministries has several pamphlets to help you prepare yourself and your congregation for the next disaster. 

Additional Ways to Help. Here are “12 Ways to Help Disaster Survivors Recover” from the UCC Disaster Ministries.

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