Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to monitor the situation in eastern Kentucky, where devastating flooding has resulted in tremendous need. The buildings of two nearby Church of the Brethren congregations, Flat Creek and Mud Lick, were not affected. The area is still receiving rain, and the danger of flooding and mudslides is very real. According to a recent Facebook post from Brethren Disaster Ministries, “Our prayers are with survivors, those who have lost family members, those still in danger, and first responders.”
Staff are in contact with partners on the ground and participate in calls with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) to stay abreast of needs and discern how to best provide assistance. Staff are also coordinating with the disaster leadership of the Southern Ohio/Kentucky District, who are in touch with Church of the Brethren congregations in the immediate area with first-hand knowledge of the situation.
Glenna Thompson reported that Material Resources has sent two shipments to Kentucky on behalf of Church World Service. Material Resources, based at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md., is the Church of the Brethren program that processes, warehouses, and ships disaster relief materials. One shipment has already arrived in Prestonsburg, Ky., with 360 cleanup buckets, 5 cartons of hygiene kits, 5 cartons of toothpaste, 2 cartons of school kits, 12 bales of woolen blankets, and 10 cartons of fleece blankets.
A second shipment of 288 cleanup buckets went out on Aug. 2 to Hazard, Ky. It was expected to arrive by Thursday, Aug. 4. Material Resources will send additional shipments as requests come in.
Children’s Disaster Services will send four volunteers to Kentucky on Saturday, Aug. 6 at the request of the national Red Cross organization.
How to help
Donations to the Emergency Disaster Fund are welcome to assist in both the short-term and long-term needs in Kentucky. It will take years to recover from such destruction.
Online gifts can be made at www.brethren.org/give-kentucky-flooding. Checks may be sent to Emergency Disaster Fund, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.
Brethren Disaster Ministries awaits more detailed information about volunteering for those who want to help that way. PLEASE DO NOT SELF-DEPLOY as that causes an extra management burden to an already overwhelmed leadership. One way to volunteer without leaving home is to join CRISIS CLEANUP, which desperately needs volunteers to take calls from survivors who need assistance with their homes. Go to https://www.crisiscleanup.org/training to learn more.
Local organizations are asking for donations of food, cleaning/hygiene supplies, and water (no used clothing please). To make this kind of donation, please verify that you are contributing through a reputable, local organization and check with them to find out what they actually need. Mud Lick Church of the Brethren continues to post donation opportunities on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Mud-Lick-Church-of-the-Brethren-174812215878985/.
Glenna Thompson from Material Resources and Sharon Billings Franzén from Brethren Disaster Ministries provided information for this article. Find out more about Brethren Disaster Ministries at brethren.org/bdm.