Dear Friends -
Since hurricane Florence struck we’ve all seen the images of destruction left in its wake. Even as I write this water is rising along some rivers, and thousands are under an evacuation watch.
And the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is there. Presently only trained “first responders” are in the affected areas. As water subsides specific relief plans will be made and UM volunteers will arrive to begin cleaning, and restoring damaged homes. Their work will be coordinated through UMCOR.
We don’t have details about the response to Florence so I researched some infor- mation about UMCOR’s response to hurricanes Irma and Maria which devastated Puerto Rico last summer. First, I looked at CharitableNavigator.org to see how they rate UMCOR. (Statistics are from 2015.) Contributions were $19.9 million and 93.0% of contributions went to services (not administration, fund raising etc.). The overall rating for UMCOR was 92.14 out of 100, and 4 out of 4 stars.
UMCOR initially granted $5.6 million to Puerto Rico in December 2017. As of August 2018 a total of $20 million has been granted. You may ask, “If UMCOR received a total of $20 million in 2015 how did they disperse $20 million to Puerto Rico alone?” The answer, of course, is your gifts, and those of millions of United Methodists across the US and around the world.
A report of UMCOR programs sited Joanna Rivera’s home. Her wooden home was destroyed and all its contents lost. She was unable to return for 4 1⁄2 months. Joanna cares for her 17 year old daughter who is totally disabled. UMCOR provided emergency food and water, and clothing. In August Joanne’s home was being rebuilt. The bed and bath will be a cement block structure for greater safety in the future. UMCOR also provided a new stove and refrigerator. Joanna, with great emotion, thanked UMCOR and the people of the United Methodist Church and passed on her blessings to all.
Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president of the UMCOR board (formerly bishop of Western Pennsylvania) stated, “We take for granted the monumental work that we in The United Methodist Church do. It’s normal to us, but it’s viewed as exceptional work by the outside world.”
Your support to Grace is a part of that exceptional work. Through the Mission budget and your direct gifts we help provide the money needed. And your support of Grace sustains the framework that enables this aid. The exceptional work is yours!
Thank you for your generosity in all its expressions, and God bless you for it,
~ Pastor Byron
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