It has been about a year and a half since Hurricane Katrina blasted the Gulf Coast causing incredible devastation. And while much of the media interest and coverage has greatly diminished, the recovery efforts continue.
There is a team of about 35 people from our district that is working in Mississippi this week. The team’s daily reports are posted at the district’s website. This trip is the third trip from our district in the past year.
United Methodists are known for their long-term commitment to helping people recover, long after it’s popular to do so. Perhaps it was this reason that FEMA asked UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) to lead its long-term efforts for the recovery, which are expected to take about 12 years (last I heard). See the website dedicated to this effort: Katrina Aid Today.
A recent newsletter from the Mississippi Annual Conference of the UMC, reports the following …
2300 teams, representing 33,000 volunteers, have been scheduled through the Mississippi Conference Disaster Response Center to the Mississippi Gulf Coast since Sept. 1, 2005.
34 local churches and 3 UM Disaster Response camp sites have hosted the volunteers in Mississippi.
1,000,000 labor hours have been accumulated by volunteers each working an average of 30 hours.
$18,000,000 in homeowners’ savings was provided by volunteers. (This figure comes from the labor hours above using accepted statistics from the non-profit sector.)
Volunteers have come from across the United States and some foreign countries, hundreds, possibly thousands of them making long-term commitments.
May God continue to bless the ongoing recovery efforts. Thanks to all who have given of their time and/or money to help!