Responding To The Recent Midwest Tornado Event

Destroyed Amazon building

An Amazon building was destroyed at a distribution center in Edwardsville, Ill. (REUTERS)

You can help those effected by offering prayers and money donations

Once more, communities across the Midwest have endured a violent tornadic event between Dec. 10-11. From Arkansas through Missouri, Tennessee, Illinois and Kentucky, a historically significant series of tornadoes caused tremendous loss of life and infrastructure. The response has already begun – and people across the country are expressing their usual heartfelt support.

In the case of our United Methodist family, UMCOR already is supporting those on the ground with emergency grants and recovery direction. Of course, the efforts are still geared toward rescue – so, only trained rescue personnel are active on the scene.

This means that deployment of our Early Response Teams and other volunteers will await both the stabilizing of the situation AND an invitation from our United Methodist partners on the ground in the affected states.

So, what can be done right now? 

  • Please keep those affected by this in your prayers. Too quickly the news cycle moves on, and the struggles of survivors are too easily forgotten. This is a long-term recovery/rebuild operation. You will help our people pray meaningfully by providing regular updates, telling the stories of people in need and of those responding as a way to guide and inspire our prayers.
  • Donate. Currently, money only. Please do not collect any other supplies until we communicate with you directly what is needed. You can donate directly to the North Texas Conference’s efforts. Every dollar given will go directly to aid in the recovery of the affected communities, using the Disaster Response leadership in the affected conferences to apply as they see fit.
  • Donations to UMCOR are also welcomed.
  • Get trained as an Early Responder! Watch our Conference webpage for announcement of training events to equip churches and individuals to participate in this vital ministry. The first one for the new year is already scheduled: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 15, 2022, at First UMC Winnsboro. (Registration details to follow.)

“The loss of life and catastrophic destruction of property we have seen unfold in Kentucky is unfathomable,” North Texas Conference Bishop Michael McKee said. “As we approach this holiday season, I ask that our United Methodist family lift up those who experienced loss from these storms as well as prayerfully consider giving if you are able to help those who need our assistance now more than ever.”

Lara Martin, UMCOR’s Director of U.S. Disaster Response, said, “I would just add UMCOR’s gratitude for the outpouring of support, as we begin the journey with the affected conferences and communities. We’ve already issued funds to support survivors and the initial response efforts.”

For all inquiries and responses, please email Jeremy Basset, NTC Disaster Response Coordinator.

Published: Monday, December 13, 2021