United Methodists Respond to Tornadoes, Severe Storms

Storm Damage

Churches can support the disaster response underway in Cooke County

The recent storms across North and Central Texas left several communities affected, including Valley View in the Northwest District, which bore the brunt of the damage from the weekend’s EF-3 tornado. Celina and Pilot Point also took significant damage. Two communities south of Valley View saw nearly 200 homes seriously damaged or destroyed, and another 100 affected. Nearly every home in the Shenandoah Estates and FrF communities was impacted, and there were also seven deaths reported in this area.

The North Texas Conference's response is already in full swing, with Valley View UMC serving as a key point for the effort. Case Management has begun to determine needs, and a FEMA disaster declaration has been approved.

“Working together, we as United Methodists can assist our neighbors with the physical, emotional and spiritual needs as they seek to recover from this catastrophic and devastating event,” said Bishop Rubén Sáenz Jr. “With prayer and loving action, and in partnership with UMCOR, the United Methodists of North and Central Texas will be present to offer care and healing to all those impacted. Efforts like this exemplify the heart of the church in the community. United Methodist disaster response teams are always among the first on the scene, and our volunteers will stay there as long as it takes to complete the job!”

Montage of donations

Items collected and waiting for distribution at Valley View UMC.

How You Can Help Now

Please do not collect or send any physical supplies or food; that need has been met for now. Donations to the North Texas Disaster Relief Fund are needed most! The Disaster Relief Fund, which provides financial aid in response to natural disasters like tornadoes, flooding and wildfires, will be the special offering at Opening Worship for Annual Conference 2024 on June 2. Conference churches are encouraged to collect a special offering this Sunday and send it with their delegates to Annual Conference.

Our United Methodist Disaster Response staff will work alongside the Cooke County Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) over the coming months in the recovery and rebuilding efforts. Volunteers are needed now to help with mucking, gutting and tarping of homes. This is open to both individuals and to Early Response Teams. Please contact Rev. Martha Hagan-Smith to express your interest by email or by phone at 830-275-0708. People who have access to tractors, excavators and skid steers, and people certified to use chainsaws are especially needed.

For more information, please email Rev. Jeremy Basset, the North Texas Conference disaster response coordinator, or call 405-590-5738.

Published: Wednesday, May 29, 2024