Tornado aid detailed as anniversary approaches


An update from the Rev. Don Remick, co-chair, Disaster Resource Team of the MA Conference, UCC

We are approaching the first year anniversary of the devastating tornado that tore a scar through the center of our state. Long term recovery often takes at least two years just to get folks back into homes, though the scar in the psyche and soul lasts much longer. Long Term Recovery Groups have been evolving since the earliest days following the storm. We are continuing to support their efforts.

You have helped. We received over $115,000 in gifts from our MACUCC churches.

We have allocated nearly two-thirds of that ($74,932.58) to help the Long Term Recovery Groups as they seek to help with the unmet needs of our most vulnerable populations. We have allocated $2,000 of that to assist a Conference sponsored youth mission trip this summer. We are working with FEMA and the LTRG's as they continue to budget their needs and their existing sources of funding.

We have allocated another quarter of the donations($28,819.84) for local church recovery. So far we have disbursed $16,500 for trauma and spiritual care training to help our churches serve and support their own congregation and their communities.

The remaining funds (approx 10%, or $11,527.94) have been allocated to support our pastors who have been at the core of the damage as well as the recovery efforts. Many of them have been caring for their own churches and congregations while also overseeing long term recovery efforts. So far we have disbursed $4,000 for renewal, rest and recovery programs.

The thanks of many, many folks go out to all of you who are bringing the love of God to those who are traveling a long road.

NOTE: The clean-up effort in Brimfield continues,  and volunteers are needed. Please read this Mission & Justice blog post for more information.


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