Two Brethren Disaster Ministries project sites in the United States are receiving support through grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF), totaling $75,000. Brethren Disaster Ministries also has directed an EDF grant to the island nation of Vanuatu after it was hit by Tropical Cyclone Pam.
An EDF allocation of $45,000 continues support for the Tom Rivers project site in New Jersey, where Brethren Disaster Ministries continues work on a building project following devastation caused by Superstorm Sandy in Oct. 2012. Partnering at the site is O.C.E.A.N., Inc., which is providing the land to build six single-family homes in Berkeley Township, N.J. The new homes, to be managed and maintained by O.C.E.A.N., Inc., will be rented on a sliding scale to low- and moderate-income families with special needs who were affected by Super Storm Sandy. The project is expected to be completed in early May.
An EDF allocation of $30,000 funds the opening of a Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding project in northeast Colorado following flooding caused by heavy rains in Sept. 2013. Seventeen counties were affected, with federal emergency declarations covering 14 counties and more than 28,000 families registering for assistance. Reports indicate eight deaths, around $2 billion in flood damage, and nearly 19,000 homes damaged or destroyed. The Brethren response will focus on some of the most severely impacted areas in Weld, Larimer, and Boulder Counties in Colorado, where 1,882 homes were destroyed and another 5,566 damaged. The response will be an ecumenical project, inviting volunteers from the United Church of Christ and Disciples of Christ to support the Brethren effort.
An EDF grant of $20,000 supports the Church World Service response to devastation in Vanuatu caused by Tropical Cyclone Pam last month. The Vanuatu government reports 17 deaths, 65,000 people homeless, and 166,000 people needing assistance on the 24 islands in the storm path. Entire islands are impacted, and due to their isolation and damage to infrastructure, the need for relief supplies to sustain life and provide shelter is critical. This grant will support Church World Service partnering with Act for Peace and the Vanuatu Christian Council in providing emergency food, water, and household supplies for survivors in 78 communities, and repair of water supply systems and training in disaster risk reduction.
For more information about the Emergency Disaster Fund go to www.brethren.org/edf .