Disaster Relief


Lancaster United Methodist Church


and other United Methodists

Respond with Prayer & Aid

for the East Coast of the U.S.A.
as well as for Japan, Libya,
and other disaster areas

through UMCOR* 



You can help today!  Pray / Donate / Disaster Kits


You can help in many ways!  Click here to make disaster kits.


Give emergency funds through UMCOR*

or through Lancaster United.


Either way 100% of your gift goes to those most in need


Contact:   UMCOR HOTLINE for the latest worldwide relief news.

*UMCOR: United Methodist Committee on Relief

UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is already on the job
working with those most devastated by the Storm Sandy.  
Your Donation can help.  Give online today.

(NOTE: info on Japan and Tsunami relief is found here.)

How to help the Oklahoma (and other) tornado victims:

Right now it's all about prayer, donations and patience from those who wish to volunteer.

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the relief and development arm of The United Methodist Church, has been in contact with local partners after a mile-wide tornado claimed dozens of lives and injured hundreds in Moore, Oklahoma on Monday.

Greg Forrester, the executive in charge of US Disaster Response for UMCOR, implored concerned persons to stay out of the way of first responders, who are still looking for survivors.

“Well-meaning people who arrive on-scene to help in the immediate aftermath of an event like this tend to get under foot and unintentionally divert important resources,” he said. “First responders need time to do the work of locating survivors and securing the area. That work is still underway.”

Currently, local partners are telling UMCOR that the most important ways that concerned individuals can help is through prayer and financial assistance.

Contributions to support relief and recovery in Moore and other parts of the United States after severe weather events like this can be made online through UMCOR US Disaster Response, Advance #901670. The Advance is the official giving channel of The United Methodist Church; it guarantees that 100 percent of donations to a specific program are used only for that program and not for overhead or other administrative expenses.

Donations can also be made by calling toll free 1-800-554-8583, or by texting the word RESPONSE to 80888 to make an immediate $10 donation.

Relief kits will likely be needed, especially health kits and school kits. For information about how to assemble these, visit the UMCOR Relief Supplies page on UMCOR.org. Kits can be sent to any of the eight depots in the UMCOR Relief-Supply Network.

This was the second bout of severe weather to strike Oklahoma in two days. On Sunday, May 19, some 24 tornadoes tore through five states—Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois—and destroyed 300 homes. The town of Shawnee, Oklahoma, where two people died, bore the brunt of the earlier outbreak.


The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the not-for-profit global humanitarian aid organization of The United Methodist Church. Compelled by Christ to be a voice of conscience on behalf of the people called Methodist, UMCOR works globally to alleviate human suffering and advance hope and healing. There are many ways to support UMCOR’s work. You can donate online or over the phone by calling 1-800-554-8583. You can mail checks (payable to UMCOR) to P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY, 10087. You can also use offering envelopes to designate funds for UMCOR and put them in the offering plate at any United Methodist Church. UMCOR is a registered 501(c) (3) charity. All gifts are tax deductible.

Within Dark Devastation,

Sparks of Hope


Thousands of people were cleaning up in Sandy's aftermath, but many communities were still underwater.

*By Susan Kim

October 30, 2012—Entire coastal towns underwater. Millions without power. A paralyzed New York City. Damage that can't even be tallied until the water recedes. Yet within the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, The United Methodist Church is offering sparks of hope.

Joseph Ewoodzie, disaster response coordinator for the New York Conference, was, by the hour, naming more and more communities with what he calls "major hits" by Hurricane Sandy. "Long Island has been devastated," he said. "In Connecticut, Fairfield and Bridgeport were hit really hard. People are rowing boats down the streets."

But as Ewoodzie received calls reporting new damage, he also received news that churches were opening their doors to evacuees, checking on communities, and praying for people who will go home only to find they've lost everything.

In Shelton, CT, where power outages were spotty, the Shelton First United Methodist Church was open for people without power to charge their cell phones and simply touch base, as severe pockets of damage were revealed, said the Rev. Heather McClendon Sinclair, pastor.

"We are using Facebook as a tool for communication, and it has done quite well for us," she said. "Aside from opening up the church, our response at the moment is to use a call list we put together before the hurricane to make sure everyone is okay. After tonight into tomorrow, when the waters recede, we will be stepping up the cleanup response."

As requests streamed in for UMCOR's cleaning buckets and health kits, Ewoodzie wished to remind people that recovery in his state will be going on long after Hurricane Sandy leaves the headlines.

"The real ministry awaits us in the months, and even years, to come," he said. "Let us stay with the affected people until they recover. Let them feel confident that we will stay with them until they make a healthy, holistic recovery."

In New Jersey, many evacuees were still out of their homes, said Carol Brozosky, an Early Response Team leader. "The barrier islands are just completely destroyed," she said, "and across the state, the damage is so severe and so spread out that it's difficult at this point to name the worst-hit communities. But clearly the coastal towns really bore the brunt."

UMCOR has issued $10,000 emergency grants to the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, Greater New Jersey Conference, New York Conference, New York Disaster Interfaith Services, and the North Carolina Conference.

Even as the US. reeled from the storm, Haiti and other Caribbean countries in the storm's path were also struggling to recover. The United Methodist Church was helping to meet the needs of storm survivors in Haiti, where Hurricane Sandy killed 51 people.

Because of UMCOR's support and emphasis on disaster preparedness, response in Haiti was strengthened, reported UMCOR’s head of mission in Haiti. "I think organizations based in heavily affected areas were able to respond with what they had on hand—which is good news that preparedness planning is helping to mitigate some of the storm effects," she said.

But needs in Haiti—as well as in Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and Jamaica—are serious and ongoing. As communications increase, UMCOR continues to support its local Caribbean partners as they meet the needs of hurricane survivors.

Help bring hope to those in Hurricane Sandy's path. Please donate to UMCOR US Disaster Response, Hurricanes 2012, Advance #3021787 . You can also text the word RESPONSE to 80888 to give an immediate $10 donation.

*Susan Kim is a journalist and regular contributor to www.umcor.org.

  Sandy Day One

PHOTO CREDIT: Catherine Earl

An emergency worker carries a girl out of Academy Sports on the evening of May 22 following the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo. Web-only photos courtesy of The Joplin Globe/Roger Nomer.

Donate NOW!!  - UMCOR

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Lancaster United Methodist Church

100% of your dollars go to help most in need.


Tornado survivors walk down a road in Joplin, Mo. 
Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase asks for prayer and 
donations to help those affected by the twister.





Rescuers try to free a woman from a building in Joplin, Mo.






3:00 P.M. EST May 23, 2011

An emergency worker carries a girl out of Academy Sports on 
the evening of May 22 following the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo. 
Web-only photos courtesy of The Joplin Globe/Roger Nomer.

Several United Methodist churches in Joplin, Mo., were scrambling to provide shelter Monday morning for church members and others whose homes were damaged by a tornado the day before.

At least two churches also suffered extensive damage.

The Rev. Christopher Sloan, pastor of Christ’s Community United Methodist Church, compared viewing the aftermath to looking at a “lunar landscape.”

The devastation is so well defined, he added, that “when you get on a hill, you can see a path through the city.”

Sloan also serves as a fire department chaplain and had helped set up an emergency medical services response center after the tornado struck.

His church, which had power but no water, was open as a shelter and was receiving supplies and volunteers. A disaster-response team from the Missouri Annual (regional) Conference is expected to use the church as its headquarters for tornado response, he said.

“We’re finding out how many people in our congregations have lost their houses,” he said.

Sloan confirmed that the sanctuary of another church, St. Paul’s United Methodist, was destroyed by the tornado, although the rest of the structure remained standing. The conference also reported that St. James United Methodist Church was destroyed and the Southwest District office next to it damaged.

The Joplin Globe reported 89 deaths as a result of the tornado, which struck the city of 48,000 around 6 p.m. on May 22. A major hospital, St. John’s Regional Medical Center, took a direct hit from the tornado and has since been vacated. Two firehouses were destroyed.

Tornado survivors walk down a road in Joplin, Mo. 
Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase asks for prayer and 
donations to help those affected by the twister.

Members of a church youth group at Byers Avenue United Methodist Church, which had minor damage, rode out the tornado in a Sunday school room. “We sang church songs, we prayed ... we tried not to get scared,” Ethan Hatfield, 16, told the Tulsa World.

At First United Methodist Church in Joplin, receptionist Sue Cowen spent Monday morning fielding calls of concern and inquiry from congregants, United Methodists from other parts of Missouri and even a few out-of-state churches.

The church — a 100-year-old stone building with a membership of 903 — was intact and open “to anyone who wants to get out of the rain,” she said. “We have many members with no home, no nothing anymore.”

Christ’s Community, which has more than 1,100 members, is a large facility with about 30 classrooms and plenty of room for those seeking shelter. “We’re just going to put people in classrooms,” Sloan said.

Missouri Bishop Robert Schnase invited United Methodists “to respond prayerfully, courageously and generously” to the Joplin disaster. “Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who grieve the loss of loved ones and who have suffered the destruction of homes and businesses following Sunday’s devastating tornado in Joplin,” he said in a May 23 statement.

More than Missouri

The Rev. Tom Hazelwood, U.S. disaster response coordinator for the United Methodist Committee on Relief, said he expected he would be traveling to Joplin for an initial damage assessment. Hazelwood was to arrive in Missouri on May 23 for a previously scheduled meeting in Kansas City.

Rescuers try to free a woman from a building in Joplin, Mo.

At least 14 of the denomination’s annual conferences have been affected by tornados or storms this spring, he noted, with the number of tornados in highly populated areas this year “more significant that we’ve had in a long time.”

United Methodists are also responding to deadly tornadoes that touched down over the weekend in Kansas and Minnesota. The twisters left at least one person dead in northern Minneapolis and killed another in Reading, a town of about 250 people in eastern Kansas.

Winds ripped off the roof of Reading United Methodist Church, and the building may be a total loss. About 20 homes in the town were destroyed.


Severe Weather in Three States

May 23, 2011—Tornadoes over the weekend in Kansas, Minnesota, and, the most severe, in Missouri wreaked widespread destruction and caused scores of deaths.

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is in contact with affected annual conferences and is preparing to respond, said US Disaster Response executive Rev. Tom Hazelwood.

Karen Benson, Disaster Response coordinator for the Missouri Annual Conference, reported that the United Methodist Church had lost at least one sanctuary, as well the district office and church next to it in the town of Joplin, which saw the greatest damage.

“We have not found all our pastors,” she said early this morning. “We know several members of one church lost their homes.”

According to early reports, 89 people died in the tornado in Joplin, and homes, schools, churches, and a hospital were severely damaged or destroyed in the town of 48,000 residents.

News reports indicated that another person was killed and dozens injured in the tornado that touched down in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In the past seven weeks, UMCOR has sent emergency grants to 11 annual conferences that have been ravaged by tornadoes and severe storms in what has been an active and destructive spring storm season.

The tornadoes over the weekend testify to the ongoing nature of the emergencies. Your assistance is urgently needed. Please give today!


Donate NOW!!  - UMCOR

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Lancaster United Methodist Church

100% of your dollars go to help most in need.


Stony Brook Mobile Home Park was one of the places hardest hit by April 16 tornadoes in North Carolina.Photo: Barbara Tripp/UMCOR



After Tornadoes, Hope

After 200 tornadoes came roaring through eight southern states between April 14 and April 16, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responded with emergency grants and provided disaster response personnel to support affected annual conferences. Read more.

Rev. Wayne Napier, disaster response coordinator for the Mississippi Conference, said the funds would be used to cover the costs associated with assessing damages, removing debris, processing and assigning work projects, and providing case management to families impacted by the storm.

Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR executive for US disaster response, underscored that this storm, along with Red River flooding in the Upper Midwest, and earlier tornadoes in Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, and Arkansas are the beginning of the spring storm season. “We could be in for a very busy spring,” he said.

Read a blog written by UMCOR Disaster Response consultant and North Carolina native, Barbara Tripp here. Your gift to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, helps provide hope to people who are seeking to put their lives back together in the wake of a disasterOnline Giving 


Reaching Out

to Vulnerable Communities

after the Storm

Monday, April 25, 2011
By Barbara Tripp
Driving around the town I have lived in all my life, I realize how very much things have changed. Hundreds of thousands more people live in Raleigh, North Carolina, than did when I was small. The city has spread its boundaries way into the former countryside. But no amount of year-in, year-out change compares to the sudden changes a tornado—like the one that blew through here on April 16—can make!

Take my favorite seafood shop for example: the roof now resides in a neighbor’s yard. The historical African-American University closed up before the end of the semester, the windows blown out of all the dorm rooms. And homes, thousands of homes, damaged or destroyed in a jagged line that cuts across the heart of Wake County.

Where does one begin? We begin with prayer and then with hard work — work that will continue for a long time for many people all across North Carolina.

But there is much hope and help available. One of the extremely hard-hit areas in Raleigh was the Stony Brook Mobile Home Park. Rev. Heather Rodrigues is an associate pastor at Millbrook United Methodist Church, one of those churches originally established in the country, but now located deep within the city limits. Heather’s church works with a local nonprofit ministry, Centro Internacional Raleigh (CIR), which helps the local Latino immigrant population.

“John Fasion of CIR and I met a month ago,” she says. “He walked me into the woods across the street from our church to meet the homeless people living there. Many of them are Latinos, and John works with them out of his home church and CIR. That first meeting, to me, was a ‘God-Thing,’ providential,” Heather says, “as now, after the tornadoes, we have been able to connect concerning support for Stony Brook,” where many Spanish-speaking, Latino immigrants also live.

“Our church has the added bonus of having a Latino Outreach pastor on our staff,” she continues. “Rev. Leo Reich is heavily involved in the effort to assist people at the Stony Brook Mobile Home Park, and his Spanish-speaking gift is coming in handy.

“And yet our non-Spanish-speaking members are also out there doing good work” Heather says. “This morning one of them told me, ‘I don't speak Spanish, but that's OK—the people understand the words God, food, drink, and they understand my hugs and my tears.’ What a testimony to the Spirit's ability to overcome language barriers!” Heather remarked.

We, as United Methodists are connected not only to our own multitude of churches, but also to the communities in which we serve. This is one of the blessings of our church and of our training to respond to emergency situations, which encourage and guide us to reach out.

By Barbara Tripp, UMCOR disaster response consultant, and a native of Raleigh, North Carolina


Barbara's Blog is found here.



Stony Brook Mobile Home Park was one of the places hardest hit by April 16 tornadoes in North Carolina.Photo: Barbara Tripp/UMCOR


Give emergency funds through UMCOR*

or locally through 

Lancaster United Methodist Church.


Either way 100% of your gift goes to those most in need













UMCOR Underscores Commitment

to Storm-ravaged South

By Linda Unger*

April 29, 2011—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) underscored today its “absolute commitment” to communities that have been impacted by this year’s historic spring storm season, even though the organization’s US Disaster Response funds are extraordinarily tight.

“We are absolutely committed to walk alongside the annual conferences, local churches and communities that are hurting because of these storms,” said the Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR executive for US Disaster Response. “We are absolutely committed to be there with them.”

Already, UMCOR has sent a dozen emergency grants to annual conferences affected by the storms which have charged through the South this spring. UMCOR is responding to requests from six of those conferences for immediate training in early response to disasters and the spiritual and emotional care of those affected.

The storms have been remarkable this year for their breadth, intensity, and relentlessness. Eighteen states, from as far west as Texas to as far north as New York and Michigan, experienced tornado activity between April 21 and 28.

Southern states were hardest hit when a super-cell storm blundered through the region on April 27. One news report said that some of the tornadoes it spawned may have packed winds up to 300 miles per hour.

With at least 213 deaths, hundreds injured, and countless families homeless, Alabama took the brunt of that storm system, which left a total of at least 300 people dead across six states: Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, and Virginia. A million people were without electrical power.

That storm followed on the heels of another system that stampeded through eight southern states. It particularly impacted parts of North Carolina, when 92 tornadoes tore through that state on a single day.

Disaster Response Funds Perilously Low

But after years of relatively mild spring storm seasons and heightened priorities provoked by “super disasters” elsewhere in the world, funds destined for UMCOR’s US Disaster Response ministry are perilously low.

The Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey, UMCOR head, appealed to United Methodists and other people of goodwill, who are the source of these funds, to help replenish them and ensure UMCOR’s ability to continue to respond to the spring storms emergency.

“I have no doubt that the people of the United Methodist Church will respond just as they always have, whether it is to an earthquake in Haiti or Japan, a hurricane in the Gulf, or widespread tornadoes and storms such as these,” she indicated. “People always respond to great need.”

US Disaster Response funds allow UMCOR to be present from the very start of an emergency until long after it has faded from headlines. “Funds go to everything from disaster response training to spiritual and emotional care to the purchasing of boards and nails,” Hazelwood said.

As recovery progresses, he said, the funds help in the repairing and rebuilding of homes and the provision of case management, “that one-on-one ministry with affected families” Hazelwood explained.

“We train people to do that,” he added, “so communities know how to work with their brothers and sisters who have been impacted by disasters.”

Because US Disaster Response funds were so tight, UMCOR delved into a small reserve in order to respond to the spring storms emergency. Harvey said she had the approval of the organization’s board of directors grant committee within an hour of contacting them.

“Their response illustrates the commitment of UMCOR and its board to respond at times when people face great need one way or another” she said.

“Yes, money is tight,” Hazelwood said. “But we’re going to find ways to respond, one way or another. We’re absolutely committed to walk alongside those who are hurting. We can do no less.”



Update on Churches in the disaster zone.


Mount Tabor United Methodist Church in Greeneville, Tenn., was heavily damaged by a tornado. A UMNS web-only photo courtesy of the Holston Annual Conference.


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through UMCOR

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or through


United Methodist


100% of your dollars go to help through either channel.







Donate NOW!!

through UMCOR

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United Methodist


100% of your dollars go to help through either channel.



Storms Leave a Trail of Death and Damages

April 28, 2011—The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has been in contact throughout the night and this morning with bishops and disaster response personnel in annual conferences hit by last night’s storms and tornadoes to assess damages and next steps to assist communities in need. 

According to news reports, at least 178 people died in the storms that raced across five southern states, destroying homes and businesses and wiping out electrical power. Casualties are expected to climb.

Alabama’s fifth largest city, Tuscaloosa, was among the hardest hit, as the National Weather Service tracked 137 tornadoes across the region. The storm system is climbing northward, and there are flash flood alerts for New Jersey and New York.

At the start of the 2011 spring storms season, an unprecedented number of severe storms, including tornadoes, hail, and high winds, has raced across the United States, provoking widespread damage and flooding in the South and Central regions.

The month of April alone has seen more than 7,000 such storms, which produced nearly 600 tornadoes. Rivers, including the Mississippi, are at record 100-year-flood levels. The cleanup and recovery from this series of events will take years.




South Carolina UMVIM ERT Disaster Response to North Carolina




Up to date info on Texas Wildfires

Tornadoes, Severe Weather and Storms in the U.S.A. found here.

April 15, 2011
Update on relief efforts

Standing With the People of Japan

By Linda Unger*

April 15, 2011—Just over a month after a powerful, 9.0-magnitude earthquake, devastating tsunamis, and a nuclear crisis converged on Japan, the full impact of the disaster is still unfolding. As it does, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is standing with the people of Japan to help them bring hope, healing, and comfort to those in need.

Early next month, UMCOR will join some two dozen faith-based relief organizations in a forum in Seoul, South Korea, convened by national Christian church councils of Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.

The objective of the two-day meeting is to help the National Christian Council in Japan (NCCJ) flesh out a long-term relief and reconstruction strategy and explore the establishment of an ecumenical consortium to accompany those efforts.

Already, UMCOR has sent $70,000 in early response aid to ecumenical partners, including NCCJ, United Church of Christ in Japan (UCCJ), Korean Christian Church of Japan (KCCJ), and Church World Service (CWS), as well as to Global Medic, expert in rapid response to disasters.

During its recent board of directors meeting, UMCOR approved a $150,000 grant to the Asian Rural Institute (ARI), a longtime UMCOR partner that trains Japanese farmers and agriculturalists from other nations in sustainable agriculture techniques.

ARI’s buildings were severely damaged in the quake, impeding the start of classes this month. UMCOR’s grant will help the institute complete enough repairs to begin classes in May.

When it does, one of the students ARI will welcome is Gontran Delgrace, an UMCOR/Global Ministries scholarship student and the survivor of another disaster, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

Ongoing Conversations

To date, generous United Methodists and other people of goodwill have contributed about $1.6 million to the Japan Emergency Advance , said UMCOR International Disaster Response executive, Melissa Crutchfield. 

“We have every intention—and the resources—to give more to the people of Japan,” said Crutchfield, who will attend the ecumenical gathering in Seoul. The fruits of that meeting will likely have a direct bearing on the disbursement of some of the funds.

In addition, UMCOR is in contact with other partners, including a largely faith-based task force in the Philippines that is seeking to provide support to Filipino migrant workers who fled Japan in the wake of the disaster.

The task force would provide legal services, psychosocial support, and other forms of assistance to traumatized workers returning to their families in the Philippines.

In Tokyo, the Wesley Center is also assisting evacuees from areas hard hit by the triple disaster. The center, which is affiliated with United Methodist Women, has hosted numerous evacuees, including foreign workers, who lived in the devastated city of Sendai and in the area of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

UMCOR will seek to help the Wesley Center provide for the needs of the evacuees, which may include food, transportation, nonfood supplies, and the fees for re-entry visas for the foreign workers who are leaving Japan.

UMCOR is also conversing with Second Harvest Japan, a food bank that distributes food to soup kitchens, orphanages, emergency shelters, the elderly, migrant workers, the homeless, and many others.

Unfolding Crisis

Although Japan is no stranger to movements of the earth, the tremor that struck near the island of Honshu at about 2:45 p.m. on March 11, was the largest earthquake to hit the country since records have been kept, 140 years. It triggered a 30-foot-high tsunami that swept away everything in its path, destroying entire villages and towns.

As of April 7, more than 14,700 people were still unaccounted for, reported Reuters News Agency’s Alertnet. Nearly 13,500 people were confirmed dead and some 139,000 were living in shelters around the country.  

Reuters said that more than 72,550 buildings were completely destroyed, washed away, or burned to the ground in the disaster. The government estimates that the cost in material damages could surpass $300 billion, making it, Reuters said, “by far, the world’s costliest disaster.”

The immediate and long-term effect of radiation exposure from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant remains a wild card, particularly after the government stated on April 11 that the nuclear crisis generated by the disaster was on a par with that of the 1986 Chernobyl meltdown.

To date, nearly 1,000 aftershocks of differing magnitudes have continued to rattle Japan. Some of the strongest came a month after the earthquake and ranged in magnitude from 6.0 to 7.1.

Unlike in Haiti, UMCOR’s Crutchfield pointed out, the earthquake in Japan did not destroy the capital; the infrastructure in Tokyo is intact. “In Haiti,” she said, “the quake completely undermined the existing government and decimated Port-au-Prince.” Some 17 percent of the Haitian government workforce, including government ministers, died in that disaster.

“Even though Japan was overwhelmed by the earthquake and tsunamis, it still had a functional government and systems in place for responding to such disasters,” Crutchfield added. “Civil society in Japan is very organized and prepared for disaster response.”

That means UMCOR’s own response has to match the Japanese reality.

“UMCOR already had trusted, experienced partners on the ground in Japan,” Crutchfield said. “We can fund these ecumenical partners, who are already there and who are intimately familiar with the culture and the needs of the people and with the systems that exist to respond.”


“UMCOR is working on your behalf, through relief and church partners in Japan, to respond and provide immediate assistance and long-term rehabilitation,” said the Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey and Thomas Kemper, leaders of UMCOR and Global Ministries, respectively, in a joint letter to United Methodists eager to help in Japan.

Kemper and Harvey noted the “compassion and generosity” of United Methodists and others who are supporting relief efforts with their prayers and financial gifts.

But they clarified that they are not now sending volunteer teams to Japan. “At this time, we are honoring the request of the Japanese government, who has asked that outside groups not come to Japan,” they said.

 Furthermore, they underscored, “The situation in Japan is not conducive to sending volunteers at this time. It is important to allow the well established government organizations to manage the response. Should the situation change, we will mobilize United Methodist Volunteers in Mission to prepare mission teams.”

Indeed, as the earth continues to shift underneath Japan, the gift of prayer is no small one.


Earthquake survivors wait patiently, as UMCOR partner Global Medic purifies water using a Trekker portable water purification system.
courtesy of Global Medic






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for the latest relief news.


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Mission Support:

Disaster Ministries Kits

Sending Relief Supply Kits

UMCOR Supply Kits help to care for the most vulnerable people during times of crisis. They also help to sustain everyday life by providing basic necessities to people who lack ready access to essential supplies. These kits provide vital support for the work UMCOR does throughout the world. By donating kit supplies or financial gifts to purchase the supplies, you make a direct, tangible difference in sustaining people's lives.

Each Kit Page Contents

Health Kits

Clean Up Kits / Flood Buckets

School Kit

Troop Morale Kit

Layette Kit

Sewing Kit

Migrant Worker Health Kit


Please do not include any religious, political or patriotic notes or emblems in any kit.

Items listed in color are the most urgent needs.

UMCOR Health Kit

  • 1 hand towel (15”x25” up to 17”x27”)
  • 1 bath-size bar of soap in original wrapper (3 oz. and up)
  • 1 washcloth
  • 1 toothbrush (single brushes only in original wrapper)
  • 1 hair comb, large & sturdy (not pocket-size)
  • 1 large tube of toothpaste (no sample or travel sizes). If there is an expiration date, it should be 1 year from today’s date.
  • 1 nail file or nail clipper (no emery boards or toenail clippers)
  • 6 adhesive plastic strip sterile bandages

Wrap the brand new items in the new hand towel, tie it with string or yarn, and place inside a sealed, one-gallon plastic bag with a zipper closure.

Health Kit Health Kit   Health kits provide basic necessities to people who have been forced to leave their homes because of human conflict or natural disaster. Health kits are also used as learning tools in personal hygiene, literacy, nutrition and cooking classes.
SpacerKit page |PDF



UMCOR Clean-up Kits / Flood Bucket

  • 5-gal. bucket with resealable lid
  • Bleach—approx. 50 oz. +/- (do not include bleach if you are shipping the bucket through the US postal service, UPS, or FedEx)
  • 5 scouring pads
  • 1 scrub brush
  • 7 sponges – assorted sizes
  • 18 cleaning towels (reusable wipes)
  • 1 Liquid laundry detergent – two 25 oz. or one 50 oz. bottle
  • 1 Household cleaner – 12-16 oz. bottle
  • Disinfectant dish soap - 16-28 oz. bottle
  • 50 clothes pins
  • Clothesline – two 50 ft. or one 100 ft.
  • Dust masks – one 5-pk.
  • 2 pair latex gloves or non-latex kitchen gloves
  • 1 pair work gloves
  • 24-bag roll of heavy-duty trash bags (33-45 gallon)
  • Insect repellant spray
  • 6-14 oz. can air freshener –8 or 9 oz.
  • $5 for shipping

Please purchase all liquids in plastic bottles. Be sure to send all new materials that are unopened. Put all items in the plastic bucket and seal lid.


Cleaning BucketCleaning Bucket (formerly called flood bucket); These supplies enable people to begin the overwhelming job of cleaning up after a flood or hurricane.
Kit page |PDF




UMCOR School Kit

  • 1 blunt scissors (rounded tip)
  • 6 unsharpened pencils with erasers
  • 3 pads (or loose leaf) 8 ½” x 11” ruled paper
  • 1 eraser, 2 ½”
  • 1 30-centimeter ruler
  • 1 handheld pencil sharpener
  • 1 box of 24 crayons (only 24)
  • $1 for shipping

Prepare a 12” x 14” (finished size) cloth bag with handles and a closure (Velcro, snap, or button) and place the items in the bag.


School Kit School Kit  In some countries, children don't have books or school supplies. Many have no schoolrooms; classes are held in inadequate or half-destroyed buildings, tents, or even the open air. School kits may be these children's only educational resources.
SpacerKit page  PDF Sewing patterns


UMCOR Sewing Kit

  • 3 yards of cotton or cotton-blend solid-color or print fabric (there must be 3 uncut yards of fabric)
  • 1 pair of sewing scissors
  • 1 package of needles
  • 1 spool of thread
  • 5-8 matching buttons

Wrap sewing notions in the fabric place items in a sealed one-gallon plastic bag with zipper closure.


Sewing KitSewing Kit   Sewing kits foster independence rather than dependence. Women can make clothing in their own size and in the style of their culture. Cottage industries often grow out of the sewing classes where women use these kits to practice valuable income-Spacergenerating skills.
Kit page  | PDF


UMCOR Layette

  • 6 cloth diapers
  • 2 diaper pins
  • 2 shirts or 2 one-piece body suits
  • 1 sweater open in front
  • 2 baby washcloths
  • 2 receiving blankets
  • 2 gowns or sleepers

Bundle the items inside one of the receiving blankets and secure it with diaper pins.


Layette KitLayette Kit  Many women do not have swaddling clothes with which to welcome their child into the world. Layette kits provide basic supplies for their baby's needs.
Kit page | PDF Sewing patterns




Troop Morale Kits

  1. AT&T prepaid international phone calling card, see ordering information
  2. Sunscreen, minimum SPF 15, small to medium tube
  3. Snacks (see ideas below)
  4. Toiletries (see ideas below)
  5. Playing cards

Phone Card Ordering Information

AT&T ordering information: Go online to this address and follow the instructions to pick a branch of service and order the card through their web page at: www.usa.att.com/military/events/phone_card_donations.jsp

You can also purchase a card at Target, Sam’s or Wal-Mart.

Things to remember when purchasing items

  • Troops have little storage and must carry 50+ pounds in gear
  • The smaller the items the better
  • Think camping
  • Purchase items that won’t melt
  • No aerosol products
  • All items must be in their original packaging and easy to open
  • The MERCI shipping boxes are 10.5” x 7” x 6” so please think about that when purchasing products

Snack ideas

  • Hard candy, gum
  • Beef jerky
  • Canned tuna, etc. with pop tops
  • Canned fruit with pop tops
  • Cereal – in small boxes
  • Granola Bars
  • Trail mix
  • Microwavable popcorn
  • Powdered drink

Toiletries – For Men or Women

  • Insect repellant   
  • Shampoo
  • Baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Foot Powder
  • Eye drops
  • Nose spray
  • Individual packs of Kleenex
  • Toilet paper (1"x4")
  • Q-tips travel pack

Toiletries - Women

  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth brushes
  • Soap
  • Disposable razors
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Deodorant

Toiletries – Men

  • Disposable razors
  • Shaving cream (non-aerosol)
  • Deodorant

Additional ideas

  • Athletic socks
  • Books
  • DVDs and CDs
  • Batteries
  • Stationery, envelopes, pens, stamps
  • Paperback books


 Migrant Worker Health Kit

  • 1 bath towel
  • 1 hand towel
  • 1 bath-size bar of soap in original wrapper
  • 1 washcloth
  • 1 toothbrush in original sealed package
  • 1 hair comb - regular size (not pocket-size)
  • 1 large tube of toothpaste (no sample or travel sizes). If there is an expiration date, it should be 1 year from today’s date.
  • 1 full-size shampoo
  • 1 deodorant
  • 1 nail file or nail clipper
  • Adhesive bandages (such as Band-Aid)

Wrap the brand new items in the new hand towel, tie it with string or yarn, and place inside a sealed, two-gallon plastic bag with a zipper closure.



Bedding KitBedding Kit  These supplies provide an important source of comfort for displaced persons.
Kit page | PDF


Birthing KitBirthing Kit Birthing kits provide the essential items to promote a safe, clean delivery and to encourage good aftercare.
Kit page| PDF


 Bulk Material Bulk Materials The material resources program is always happy to receive kits and buckets fully assembled with all required items. However, the UMCOR Sager Brown Depot can also use large quantities of bulk items.
Spacer Kit page