If you missed the “Nichols Blitz” earlier this month – or you want to experience it again – you have another chance to help people devastated and left homeless by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
The South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church has scheduled a two-day work blitz for Jan. 13-14 in the Marion County town of Sellers, where dozens of homes were flooded and many residents had to be rescued by boat.
The “Sellers Blitz” is patterned after the successful “Nichols Blitz,” during which 236 volunteers helped “muck out” 18 homes in another Marion County town overwhelmed by floodwaters.
“It’s good to be able to help those in need and share the blessings God has given us, said the Rev. Mike Evans, disaster response coordinator for the Greenwood District of the conference. “These people have been suffering, and most have become homeless.”
Conference disaster response officials are looking to recruit as many volunteers as possible – individuals, church groups, Sunday school classes, etc. – to come to Sellers, which is just north of Marion in the Marion District, and put them to work on as many houses as possible.
“People here don’t have anything,” said Sellers Mayor Barbara Hopkins. “The need is huge. We appreciate anything people give the town of Sellers.”
On Monday, disaster response workers from the S.C. Conference delivered a trailer load of health kits and cleaning buckets to the Sellers Library and Resource Center, which has become the hub of disaster response activity for the town. The kits and buckets had been assembled and donated by United Methodist churches around the state.
“These supplies are a blessing for a lot of families,” Hopkins said. “Now they have hope that people are coming.”
The only requirement to participate in the “Sellers Blitz” is that you must be 18 or older. Volunteers of all skill levels are needed. Specially trained S.C. UMC Early Response Team leaders will be on hand to guide the work.
Please bring your own tools and equipment, if possible: hammer, prybar, gloves, protective eyewear, and closed-toed shoes. ERT leaders will provide protective masks and all the expertise you need.
Individuals and teams will be “mucking out” homes – tearing out ruined drywall and flood-soaked flooring – and performing other needed work.
Volunteers can work one day or both, and arrangements for housing, as needed, are being worked out.
If you are interested, click here to register online.
- Have questions? Email Matt Brodie at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Conference Center at 803-786-9486. Or contact the disaster response coordinator in your district.
- If you can’t make it to the Jan. 13-14 event but you still want to help, we’ll be scheduling other “Work Blitz” weekends in other communities around the state where the need is great.
“It is our responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and this is just one way we can do that,” said Evans, pastor of the Ebenezer/Panola/Mathews Charge. “We joyfully give our time and abilities and are able to plant seeds along the way.”
How else can you help?
- Donate financially to the S.C. Conference’s disaster relief efforts and to UMCOR’s Advance U.S. Disaster Response, which allows the United Methodist Committee on Relief to respond quickly and appropriately to emergencies in the United States.
- Pray for the safety of those affected by the storm, Early Response Teams and others providing relief efforts.