Memphis Conference United Methodists fill second truck with relief supplies for hurricane survivors

9/26/2017

For the second time in two weeks, Forty West Designs in Jackson, Tennessee, provided a loading dock, warehouse space and the help of employees to receive, pack and load cleaning kits (donated by United Methodists in West Tennessee and Western Kentucky) for hurricane survivors. (Photos by Dr. Joe Geary)


By Lane Gardner Camp, Director of Communications, Memphis Conference

In response to a second appeal in less than a month, Memphis Conference United Methodists this week filled a second large trailer with relief supplies to help recent hurricane survivors.
 
Approximately 500 cleaning kits (buckets) and other supplies were transported from the conference’s district drop-off locations to Jackson, Tennessee, on Monday, Sept. 25, where they were loaded for transport to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Warehouse in Decatur, Alabama.
 
UMCOR is The United Methodist Church’s humanitarian relief and disaster response agency that works in the U.S. and around the world. CLICK HERE to read about what is included in a cleaning kit and about other relief supply kits.
 
The cleaning kits, along with hygiene kits, box fans, extension cords, garbage bags, clothes pins and shovels delivered to Jackson this week, were combined with the nearly 800 cleaning kits (buckets) for which there was not enough room on the truck that left Jackson two weeks earlier.
 
The first appeal was for Hurricane Harvey survivors and the second appeal for Irma and other recent storm survivors.
 
CLICK HERE to read about the Memphis Conference’s first response to the Hurricane Harvey disaster, described as “incredible” by Dr. Joe Geary, Memphis Conference director of Connectional Ministries.
 
The second shipment this week included 37 pallets and some large boxes, according to Rev. Robert Craig, Memphis Conference disaster relief coordinator.
 
Craig said it’s “very likely these gifts of love and support will be in the hands of hurricane survivors by Monday (Oct. 2).”
 
From Decatur, the Memphis Conference supply donations “will go southeast to Florida, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and other affected locations and communities damaged by Irma and Maria,” explained Geary.
 
Craig expressed thanks to the Memphis Conference “for continuing to be Christ’s heart and hands for a hurting world.”
 
“This is one of the great blessings of a connectional church: a speedy, organized, significant and loving response,” Craig said. “In my opinion, there are many things that United Methodist Christians do well. Loving our neighbors in times of need is one of those things.”
 
Geary expressed appreciation for the support of Memphis Conference churches “to alleviate human suffering” and said he is “grateful” for:

  • the tractor/trailer truck provided at no cost to the conference by Sundown Trucking of Gates, Tennessee, and Steve Stanley, a member of Concord United Methodist Church (UMC) in Gates
  • the loading dock, warehouse space and help of employees, provided at no cost to the conference by Forty West Designs in Jackson  
Craig acknowledged the important work of Elyse Bell, chair of the Memphis Conference Disaster Relief Committee, who worked with volunteers from two Jackson churches, Jackson First UMC and Northside UMC, at the warehouse to pack cleaning kits for the second truck using assorted loose supplies that were left over from the first truck appeal.

ONGOING NEEDS & HOW TO HELP
 
Geary is asking Memphis Conference United Methodists to “not forget ongoing recovery needs” in all areas affected by many recent storms.
 
He reminds those who want to deploy to affected areas that Early Response Team (ERT) training will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Brownsville First United Methodist Church in Brownsville, Tennessee. CLICK HERE FOR TRAINING DETAILS.
 
“We hope to send volunteer teams later in the fall,” he said
 
For now, Geary stressed that “financial giving to UMCOR remains an ongoing priority so that we can grant monies for relief directly to partners in the affected areas.”
 
For U.S. states and territories including, but not limited to, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, Geary said to give to U.S. Disaster Relief Response Advance #901670.
 
“Puerto Rico, in particular, remains without power, food, water and basic necessities affecting millions of U.S. citizens,” said Geary. “Most crops were destroyed.”
 
Referencing Mexico’s three earthquakes in recent weeks and Sierra Leone’s “devastating landslide” in August, Geary said to give to International Disaster Relief Response Advance #982450.
 
Churches may make gifts on their monthly apportionment remittance form (clearly numbered and designated) or mail money directly to the Memphis Conference Treasurer’s Office, 24 Corporate Blvd., Jackson, TN 38305.
 
Individuals may give immediately and directly online at http://www.umcor.org/Search-for-Projects/Search-for-Projects
 
DISASTER RELIEF TEAM REQUESTS
 
Below are sites to check for needs and opportunities to deploy to affected areas. No individual or team should deploy to an affected area without an invitation and germane training.   MORE INFORMATION
  • Dr. Joe Geary, Memphis Conference Director of Connectional Ministries: jgeary@memphis-umc.org | 731-664-8480
  • ​Rev. Robert Craig, Memphis Conference Coordinator of Disaster Response Ministries: robert.reelfoot@gmail.com | 731-538-9970