Canterbury UMC
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Called to Respond: Disaster Response

Our hearts are aching for all in the Philippines who have been hurt by Typhoon Haiyan. Please continue to be in prayer for them, for their loved ones, and for the first-responders going to their aid. And please click on the following links for reliable ways that you can help now through your donations to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) and Stop Hunger Now.
Updated November 12, 2013

According to the North Alabama Conference Disaster Response Warehouse in Decatur, the cleaning kits recently assembled at Canterbury UMC have been cataloged and are on pallets ready for shipment upon request. Those cleaning kits may soon be a part of the emergency supplies received by victims of this week’s disastrous storms in Oklahoma. Thank you for being a part of this vital ministry to others in need.
To watch the news coverage of the tornado damage in Moore, Oklahoma, it’s hard not to remember the devastation in our own back yard barely two years ago.  We remember how much others both near and far, reached out to us. We want to reach out to them, and we can.

Our Conference Disaster Relief Coordinator, local relief organizations and faith-based organizations are all echoing the same message. Listed below are ways we CAN respond now.
Pray for those who have lost loved ones. Pray for those who are faced with rebuilding their lives and homes. Pray for the First Responders who gallantly helped rescue survivors and who still have work to do before others can come in to help.

When at all possible, donate through reputable faith-based and community organizations that are local to the affected areas. This avoids both fraud and has the most immediate impact.

To donate can mean a multitude of things but so as to be clear, right now, needed most from those of us that don’t live in or around Moore, OK, are financial donations. We suggest the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) as one of the best because we know that 100% of our monies go to those in the affected area. Nothing is lost on administrative/personnel costs.  UMCOR vets the local relief efforts underway and they support the boots already on the ground. If you wish, you may support relief efforts by sending your monies to Canterbury United Methodist Church and earmark: Oklahoma Disaster. We will ensure that monies are directed to UMCOR as well as supplies requested as they are made known to us. 

Here are but a few of the messages coming out of the affected areas right now and why money is the best way to respond at the moment!

Many of the unsolicited supplies being shipped in from far away places are becoming a hindrance.  Clothes----never send clothes. It becomes a second disaster. Water’s good to send right?  Hard to believe but did you know that following April 27, 2011, Birmingham had a city of water donations that went unused? Remember that monies from here can help buy water from there!!

Moore OK is near a major city, Oklahoma City and they have a tremendous capacity for volunteers. Don’t self-deploy—always affiliate (partner, partner, partner) with a local, boots-on-the-ground organization. That opportunity will come to us in time.

There will be, in the coming weeks shortages of items but with your financial support now, we’ll be able to purchase and coordinate with our conference’s disaster response warehouse and ensure that shipment is fast, well organized and delivered where it can best be distributed. Do you recall our Cleaning Bucket Assembly event on April 24 of this year? I learned yesterday that those very buckets are now on palettes, ready for shipment as soon as they are requested. 

United Methodists are known for our long-term recovery efforts. We know from experience that we are still rebuilding from April 2011. United Methodists will be there in Oklahoma helping for the long haul too.


Ok, so you really, really, really want to engage in some type of hands-on opportunity right now—today—or as soon as possible. Call me and I will help you reach our Conference Disaster Response Warehouse Director. The warehouse is located in Decatur, AL and it is very possible that they can use your help assembling more health kits, cleaning bucket kits and/or helping prepare items for shipment.

As soon as we learn more as to specific supplies needed and/or volunteer opportunities beyond, we will alert you either through an e-blast or as a post on this website page.
Faithfully yours,
Rev. Sam Williamson
(205) 874-1540
We made our goal of 270 cleaning buckets
to commemorate the tornadoes of April 27, 2011!!!
A great big thank you to all of you that helped pack Tuesday, April 24th.


For additional information, contact Sam Williamson

at 874-1540 or