Hurricane Irma: Week of Compassion partners are assessing the extensive damage in Cuba. We have set aside funds to support the coming appeal, once response plans are in place. Power outages and flooding continue in Florida and along the southeast coast. Week of Compassion is working with regional leadership to assess the effects of Irma on our Disciples congregations. Reports of roof damage and flooding at homes and church buildings have already begun, and we anticipate much more as people are able to return from evacuation locations. Congregations across Florida and the southeast continue to offer shelter and assistance to their communities, with support from regional leadership. Week of Compassion has an ongoing relationship with the Volusia Interfaiths/Agencies Networking in Disaster, where we are supporting long-term recovery from Hurricane Matthew. We have reached out to offer additional assistance for additional efforts responding to Irma.
Hurricane Harvey: In the last week, Week of Compassion has distributed over $100,000 in solidarity grants to households and churches through the Coastal Plains Area and Southwest Region. Additionally, our staff has provided information and pastoral support to Disciples congregations making a significant impact in their local areas. Our congregations span the impact zone–from Corpus Christi, Aransas Pass, and Victoria in the west, to Beaumont, Port Arthur, and Orange in the east; from Galveston and Texas City in the south, to Conroe and Kingwood in the north. Disciples have distributed more than 1000 clean up buckets and have helped muck out dozens of houses. Congregations have collected school supplies, hosted meals, and offered prayer for and with their neighbors.
Together with Disciples Volunteering and local and regional leaders, Week of Compassion is planning for long-term recovery support and volunteer opportunities.