As I write we are all watching Hurricane Florence and keeping those in her path in our prayers. We will all want to DO something. There is a prayer at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at these dos and don’ts, there is an explanation below.

Donate money through an agency like
Episcopal Relief and Development
Collect items and try to send them
Sign up on the Episcopal Relief and Development website
as a volunteer. They will contact you when and if they need you.
Show up and try to help on your own

Why give money?

Agencies like Episcopal Relief and Development already have local partners and disaster response plans. Christ Church is a shelter in case of local emergencies.

Why sign up in a volunteer pool and not just show up?

ERD and other agencies are organized and know what they need. By signing up for the pool you can tell them what your skills are and they can use them as they need them. If you can build a house but not cook a piece of toast, they can deploy you. If you just show up, you will probably find something you can do but you will be using local resources which need to be for skilled relief workers in the ground and the local people. If we can help as a Church we will organize work teams and you will have the chance to participate.

Why not collect things?

It is so tempting to load up the car and go. The problem is, each disaster is different and until we are asked for items it is better to send money so that things can be sourced locally and put into properly organized distribution schemes. After Irma the big grocery retailers send truckloads after truckloads of bottled water which was given out by relief agencies. Yes, sometimes they do not get it 100% right, but they have a better chance than most of us.

The bottom line

It is so hard to wait because we all want to be hands on. The relief agencies are there and will work together to assess need and a response. The initial job is to keep people alive, move them from danger and provide basic shelter. Your donations pay to get that done. Imagine what the cost of a tank of gas could do on the ground. Or what your time could be used for in a few weeks as people begin to pull their lives back together. This is a great Church because people really care, we just need to care in a way in which we can work together with everyone involved and make best use of both our time, money and skills.

Lord be with all those who face danger, loss and sorrow,

Be with all those who will seek to save and comfort

Give patience and light to those who feel hopeless

Give direction to those who feel lost

And in all things, make your love known to all your people

In Jesus’ name.  Amen.