What can I do about Haiti?
1. First, continue to give financially to UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief. You can by submitting a check to WC UMC with “Haiti” in the memo, or you may donate directly to UMCOR at its website: http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/umcor/donate.cfm?code=418325&id=3018760
2. Second, share with your friends and neighbors the value that a donation to UMCOR represents. 100% of every dollar donated goes directly to Haiti recovery. Money is flowing to Haiti now and the needs for funds will only grow over time – so ask them to donate to UMCOR and continue to give regularly in the future.
3. Third, educate yourself about the unique role of UMCOR, an organization that is already on the ground, assisting in relief efforts and saving lives. Visit www.umc.org/haiti for all of the most up-to-date national and conference-wide news, blogs, and video and audio stories from within the United Methodist Church. Get the latest news on UMVIM's response to the situation in Haiti at <www.umvimwj.blogspot.com> and our own Conference website <www.cnumc.org>.
4. Fourth, we need people to help Sandy Wolfe and Colleen Goya with the making and collection of UMCOR health and layette kits. Many of you are familiar with these kits. The tens of thousands of kits which were on hand at our West Coast warehouse will all be sent forward this week (the week of January 18) – and we must develop a steady stream of materials to keep the kits coming.
5. Conference officials are taking supplies to the UMCOR depot in Salt Lake City, on January 25-29. I suspect additional trips will be made over time, so we can continue to collect the kits.
6. Sixth, commit to leading or joining a team to Haiti in the months and years ahead. The recovery effort in Haiti will take years. The Conference soon will begin to work on long-term recovery plans to provide guidance as to how this response will unfold. Watch for future communications about this. Contact Phil Bandy <email@example.com> or Eddie Frutchey <firstname.lastname@example.org> to get your name on the list for future teams and to stay informed about plans.
7. Seventh, prepare yourselves physically and financially for the task ahead. So go on that diet you planned to start anyway, and stick to your exercise program (you have one, right?). Develop a travel and expense funding plan for yourself (donors and savings) for the next two years. Save your vacation time and make arrangements at work for your absence. We can develop a local support team to help sustain you in this effort.
8. Eighth, prepare yourselves spiritually for the task ahead. Discuss this matter with our pastor, among ourselves and with God. Pray – the need for prayer continues! Pray for the Haitians who are injured and who have lost loved ones, pray for the rescuers, and pray for those who are working behind the scenes to coordinate the massive relief and recovery effort.
9. UMVIM team leader training is available. Refresh and upgrade your ability to manage the people, tasks, and ministry of this undertaking. Enroll in one or more of the UMCOR training classes on March 26, 27, & 28 (2010) at the Conference office in West Sacramento. These training classes include: Emergency Response/Care Team, Basic Disaster Overview, Care for Children in Disaster, Case Management, and certified Chainsaw Training. Begin training your team, have a kick-off meeting, develop funding plans for your team, and organize your church and community to support the team.
10. Tenth, say a special prayer lifting up the families of the UMCOR and UMVIM officials who gave their lives in Haiti: Clint Rabb, Sam Dixon, and the family of a Dallas, TX UMVIM volunteer who perished from earthquake-related injuries, Jean Arnwine.