UMCOR Updates - Floods, Relief Supplies, Human Trafficking

Date Posted: 6/30/2011


Bulging rivers in North and South Dakota crested this weekend at unprecedented levels, but with that climactic event, the challenges to the surrounding communities are far from over. Read more here.


The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is in communication with disaster response personnel of the Dakotas Annual Conference and is preparing for a response that may take as long as two years to complete.


Minot, North Dakota, evacuated 11,000 families, and Pierre, the capital of South Dakota evacuated 1,300. “Unfortunately, we continue to experience tremendous rainfalls, creating more and more difficulty,” said the Rev. Kathy Chesney, conference disaster response coordinator for South Dakota.


Your help is urgently needed. Your gift to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, supports UMCOR’s efforts before, during, and after an emergency caused by flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, or other catastrophic events in the United States.



In just two months, centers in UMCOR’s Relief Supply Network shipped out 169,512 kits. Many of them were sent in response to the severe floods and tornadoes that have lumbered through the United States since spring.


As the network of seven relief-supply centers continues to respond to both US and international requests for kits, they must replenish their supplies to prepare for this summer’s Atlantic hurricane season, which began June 1, and to meet other needs, especially for school kits.


Consider how your church group, family, or congregation can provide support to this United Methodist lifeline of supplies in times of crisis and need.


There are many ways to be a part of the relief-supply ministry: collect and assemble kits, volunteer, or give towards the purchase of materials with your gift to Material Resource Ministry, UMCOR Advance #901440.



At an UMCOR safe house for survivors of human trafficking in Armenia, Judith Santiago, UMCOR media communications associate, encountered surprising strength in the women she met.


Judith blogged about her experiences in the UMCOR Notebook: “One survivor displayed her arts and crafts handiwork on the walls and on the shelves of the main living space. Her gift for creating centerpieces or adorned frames was greatly encouraged.


“I admired her pieces of artwork, and realized the pieces expressed the ‘beauty for ashes’ (Isaiah 61:3b) that God gives each of us in the place of our brokenness,” Santiago continued.


“…And, isn’t this the expression of Jesus in our lives,” she observed, “that out of the heap of our pain and sin hope emerges? In this shelter, hope was shining everywhere. Smiles instead of despair, joy instead of mourning, beauty instead of ashes…”


UMCOR’s Anti – Human Trafficking program in Armenia helps survivors recover and restart their lives in society. You can support this and other UMCOR efforts to end human trafficking by giving to Anti-Trafficking, UMCOR Advance #333615.



Alisa (not her real name) fell prey to a human trafficker in her hometown in Armenia. She was just 20 years old and the single mother of a nine-month-old baby. The trafficker threatened Alisa, forced her into prostitution and kept her enslaved.


One night, more than a year later, Alisa happened to catch on a TV news ticker the hotline number for a human-trafficking prevention program run by UMCOR Armenia. She wrote the number on the palm of her hand. It seemed to her a chance to change her awful life.


When she finally called the hotline, she was identified as a victim of human trafficking and referred to UMCOR’s shelter; police officers arrested the trafficker. Alisa was safe, and the shelter’s programs would help her restart her life.


UMCOR Armenia’s Anti – Human Trafficking program offers hope to those caught in the anguish of human trafficking. View a new UMCOR video and read more about Alisa’s story here.


Your gift to Anti – Human Trafficking, UMCOR Advance # 333615, makes a difference to those who have been trafficked and sold into slavery. It helps survivors deal with trauma and develop skills that allow them to lead a new life.


UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR’s ministries, please visit You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. 


And, please pray for those who are hungry, displaced, sick or in poverty because of these and other natural and human-made disasters, and for the workers who minister to them.