Columbia Union Conference Prepares Buckets for Islands

Volunteers from the Chesapeake, Potomac, and the Allegheny East Conference joined together in Coatesville, Pennsylvania to pack flood buckets for the Hurricane Maria survivors in the Islands. Along with the Rotary, YMCA, and the local African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, they prepared a total of 1,616 super-packed buckets of supplies for household cleaning, dishes and laundry including heavy duty trash bags, mask, gloves, clotheslines, clothespins, and etc.

The prepared flood buckets were then taken to Baltimore and placed on a rail to Miami. The Inter-American Division retrieved them and placed them on smaller vessels to be shipped to the Islands based on assessments of volunteers on the various Islands. Before the buckets were ready for delivery, they were opened and thoroughly inspected. The volunteers had to go through a strenuous task of sorting packed buckets that had bleach in order to remove them since they made the load hazardous. They were able to retrieve 90 bottles of bleach. Forklifts and drivers were also donated by the Columbia Union Conference.

The NAD ACS DR Director, W. Derrick Lea, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the Columbia Union ACS DR Teams for connecting with the Inter-American Division and carrying out this project in a commendable fashion.

 

 

New Braunfels Pathfinders Respond to Harvey

The Pathfinder Club of the New Braunfels SDA Church in Texas, "Ambassadors for Christ", participated in community outreach for the Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief. A group of nine pathfinders helped out at the Multi-Agency Warehouse managed by Adventist Community Services in San Antonio on Sunday, October 1. They were divided into two groups. One group was in charge of sorting the personal Care Package items by putting each individual item into a large box of the same item category. By the time they were done, they had around 25 different boxes of individual items, all labeled and ready to be distributed. Another group opened up boxes of new underwear for boys and girls and packaged them in smaller boxes of six. They taped up the boxes, labeled each of them with a special code number, and loaded them on a pallet. 

This enthusiastic bunch of volunteers had been looking forward to an entire day of work; however, they were able to finish the tasks assigned to them in just three hours. "We were prepared to stay all day but the jobs we were doing were completed. We are hoping to go back and help," said Debbie Edmiston, Director of "Ambassadors for Christ". And, sure enough, they continue to volunteer their dedicated time and efforts on Sundays at the San Antonio Warehouse. We sincerely appreciate these young people who are setting an example for other children to be involved in community outreach.

This Pathfinder Club was started in 2005 with the intention of reaching out to the young people from the surrounding neighborhoods to give them a positive avenue in life. One of the ways they were able to do that was to have their Pathfinders invite their non-Adventist friends or cousins. Vacation Bible School also played a significant role in getting children to join the Club. Debbie stated, "The Lord has blessed our Club through the years in many ways. And the Lord is still blessing us with boys and girls from our church and from the surrounding neighborhoods to this present day!". 

 

FEMA Assistance for Harvey, Irma, and Maria

If you or your family and friends have been impacted by the hurricanes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers resources to help with recovery. Registering online, at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, is the quickest way to register for FEMA assistance.

Visit the Hurricane HarveyIrma, or Maria pages for trusted recovery information.

To donate or volunteer, contact the voluntary or charitable organization of your choice through the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (NVOAD) at www.nvoad.org.

NVOAD is coordinating closely with the Puerto Rico Governor’s Office on offers of assistance. To make a cash donation directly to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, visit www.unitedforpuertorico.com. 

Donations for the US Virgin Islands can be made to https://www.usvirecovery.org.

Las Vegas Shooting Attack

On October 2 early morning, a gunman opened fire on a group of individuals that was attending a country music festival. The latest reports confirm over 50 people killed, along with roughly 500 injured. Currently, emergency management is on the scene and evaluating how the Recovery Efforts will be organized. 

NAD ACS DR has contacted our local Nevada/Utah Conference Director, Jerry Waggoner, about ensuring that our local resources are aware of our willingness to assist should there be an expressed need. We have reached out to our Emotional/Spiritual Care team members in a couple of Conferences that are near Las Vegas, Nevada. Additionally, we reached out to the Red Cross and discussed our availability. Our team is now on standby, and trust if we are needed we'll be able to meet the needs of the survivors recovering from this traumatic experience.

Photo Credits: NBC News

Photo Credits: NBC News

 

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.