Week of Compassion has been actively following reports of storm and tornado damage across Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and West Virginia, and has been in touch with Regional and Area ministries in affected areas, all of whom are working diligently to collect information about needs that may emerge over the next few days. Thus far, we have received few reports of damage to our congregations or to the homes of any of our members, but we are still confirming details and assessing needs. Several Churches in the Ozark Lake Area of the Christian Church in Mid-America are organizing efforts to help their communities, and Week of Compassion will be supporting those efforts. We will continue to be in contact with our Regional and Congregational colleagues to see if there are ways we can help.
Likewise, we have connected with our partners at Church World Service. Through this partnership, CWS Emergency Response Specialists are in contact with response agencies to respond to immediate needs for material goods such as Clean Up Buckets, blankets, and hygiene kits. The specialists are collecting information about needs from state VOADs (Volunteer Agencies Active in Disaster), from interfaith communities, and from faith leaders in the affected communities. As affected communities move from the response phase to the recovery phase of the disaster, CWS Emergency Response Specialists will work with local, state and federal organizations and agencies to train and prepare the communities for their long-term recovery. CWS, its communions and partners will provide training for construction management, volunteer management, emotional and spiritual care, case management and other specialized activities as needed. CWS will also provide grants to long term recovery committees to help them in the early stages of their activities.
We have also been in contact with Disciples Volunteering as we consider ways that we might be able to contribute to long-term recovery in these affected communities.
In the meantime, more severe weather is expected across the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. We will continue to monitor these storms, reach out to our partners, and keep all communities affected by these storms in our prayers.
Our prayers are with all of you in this time of unpredictable weather!
Sharing Brings Joy. To Us. To Others. To God.