Above: The volunteer team from Community United Methodist Church in Ogden, Utah, was hosted by All Saints Episcopal Church in Loveland, Colorado.
As most people realize by now, the September 2013 Colorado floods were devastating. The flooding killed 10 people, injuring at least 16,000 others. At least 50 bridges in the state were severely damaged or destroyed with 200 miles of roads impacted by the flooding. Access to communities was cut off in many cases. Businesses, from tourist to agriculture, were severely impacted. Eleven counties were designated major disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance by FEMA. About 18,000 people were forced to relocate. Almost 2,000 homes were destroyed, while more than 28,000 were severely damaged.
With all the chaos and uncertainty that the flood created, one thing was for sure – there were volunteers ready and willing to help survivors recover and rebuild after the disaster. Flood recovery would not be possible if it weren’t for the volunteers. And these are volunteers from all over the country – some are from Methodist congregations, some from other faiths, and some are unaffiliated individuals who just want to help. When these volunteers come to Colorado to aid in flood recovery projects they need a “home away from home.”
Many area United Methodist Churches committed to be that home away from home. And, because these people* and congregations* have been integral to the recovery and healing of flood survivors, the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Flood Recovery Team would like to give a shout out to them, their members and some of the individuals who have been so selfless and helped so much.
The churches that have hosted volunteers are:
And, early last spring volunteer groups stayed at the Parrish Ranch along the Little Thompson River. It is a resort that suffered major damage in the flood. In exchange for working on the property, some volunteer groups stayed there at no charge. Also, many of these same churches have been very gracious in hosting UMCOR staff meetings and LTRG (Long Term Recovery Group) meetings, as well as hosting training classes for staff and volunteers.
The hospitality and kindness that these churches displayed did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. The road to flood recovery is still a lengthy one, but with the help of volunteers and churches like these, there is a light at the end of the long tunnel.
*We apologize to any churches or individuals we unintentionally may have missed! You are ALL very special and important to the flood recovery process and we thank you.
Click here to get more information about the Colorado UMCOR team and its continuing work with helping flood survivors.