ACS Responds to Hurricane Irma

The ACS Disaster Response Teams are currently in Florida assisting with the Recovery Efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. They are working with the State, as well as the Florida and Southeastern Regional Conferences, to determine how and where a Warehouse will be placed. The Florida Conference is looking for ways to support those affected by the devastating flooding in Jacksonville and other areas nearby. Flood Buckets have been located and will be secured and delivered in the next couple of days. The Florida Conference has also assisted a couple of communities in debris removal after trees were blown down in the devastating winds. 

The Southeastern Regional Conference conducted a needs assessment of the Fort Lauderdale, Naples, and St. Lucie areas to ascertain how these communities were recovering after the Hurricane. It appeared that these areas sustained little structural damage to their homes; however, the power outage was noted as the biggest challenge in several neighborhoods. They also were able to visit with five churches in these areas and spoke with both members and pastors who felt blessed to have made it unscathed through Irma.

Additionally, food has been a necessity and NAD was able to secure food packets for those in need. Conrad Duncan, Florida ACS Director, transported and distributed them to the affected areas last Saturday. Furthermore, several Distribution sites have been set up and are actively functioning in the State. Donations are currently being accepted at these locations. Though we await the State's decision on where and when a Warehouse will be secured, we are providing services to those in need from the following locations:

Westchester Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church
9500 SW 16th St.
Miami, FL 33165-7667

Ft. Myers Seventh-day Adventist Church
3451 Ortiz Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33905-7801

Jacksonville Southpoint Seventh-day Adventist Church
3208 Herring Rd.
Jacksonville, FL 32216

South Orlando Seventh-day Adventist Church
1112 W Oak Ridge Rd.
Orlando, FL 32809-4712

Brandon Seventh-day Adventist Church
1221 Victoria St.
Brandon, FL 33510

Southeastern Camp Ground
1771 FL Hwy 20
Hawthorne, FL 32640

Please remember all those who have been affected by this devastating tragedy.

Spokane Valley Community Garden

The Upper Columbia Conference is enhancing its outreach ministry by involving the Spokane Valley Adventist Church Community Garden as an official ministry of Adventist Community Services. The purpose of this project is to teach gardening to the community, inspire culinary experimentation, and provide food to those in need. "This is a wonderful opportunity to see how God is working in opening more and more doors," said Patty Marsh, UCC ACS Director.

The idea of transforming a two-acre plot of vacant land into a community garden was started by Rupert Salmon, a member of the Spokane Valley Church. He and his team started on the project in February of this year by building beds. They are working in partnership with the Latter-day Saints, Catholics, as well as the Mormons in the area. 

Community gardens have been a part of ACS ministry for a very long time. Particularly, the Northern CA Conference has been proactively engaged with its opportunity under Dr. Gordon Botting's leadership. There are approximately 40 churches that have developed community gardens in the NCA Conference. "The Spokane Valley Adventist Church is being a recognizable, tangible, and a visible sign of God's mission in Spokane," stated Sung Kwon, NAD ACS Executive Director.

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North Philadelphia Church Offers Free Services

The North Philadelphia SDA Church hosted a two-day free AMEN clinic event offering free medical and dental services to the community. More than 100 volunteers from the church and the community took part in this event, providing care to around 200 people. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Marquis Johns, pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s North Philadelphia church. Church leaders partnered with the Adventist Medical Evangelist Network of physicians and dentists who dedicated their time and services at the medical and dental clinics. Not only were the patients blessed by this event, but the volunteers also found pleasure in being of help and service to others. Upon hearing the success of the clinics, a member of the community contacted Pr. Johns and pledged $5,000 toward having the church host another clinic in the near future.

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FEMA Partnership Day

The NAD ACS Disaster Response Team is currently participating in the Voluntary Organization Partnership Day which is being held in Washington, DC today. This event is hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National VOAD. The purpose of this event is to promote and recognize the services provided by voluntary, community, and faith-based organizations to disaster survivors. During the day, various organizations and groups from within FEMA will be part of an exhibit showcase that will be open to the public. There will also be informal discussion panels on disaster-related topics and an opportunity to meet with subject matter experts.