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Historic Flooding in Louisiana: Official Request to Help

Louisiana has been dealing with historic flooding. Many of you are eager to serve in a variety of ways, including sacrifices of personal service and donations of life sustaining items.

We are in communication with church officials in Louisiana through our UMVIM and Disaster Response networks. They will notify us about when and what type of assistance they need. There has now been an official response for ERT Members and there may be long term needs in the months to come.

There are many who are extremely grateful for all the generosity. We continue to request prayers, patience, and understanding while waiting for certain things to take place, and for the best efficiency possible. While using fruits of the Holy Spirit, please keep the following information in mind.

This is what we CAN do, that would greatly benefit those affected in Louisiana:

  1. Currently, there is not a separate account specifically set up for the Louisiana flooding through UMCOR. Urge your churches to give generously to UMCOR Domestic Disaster Response Advance #901670. Please direct any money you collect to either the Desert Southwest Conference office or through this UMCOR account. Through this account, UMCOR distributes financial assistance to disaster affected conferences. There are many areas of the country being affected with natural disasters this year and there is a great need for financial support of relief efforts.
  2. Encourage Early Response Training for anyone interested in any future responses around the country, so we can be as prepared as possible when the Desert Southwest Conference is asked to serve faithfully.
  3. If already certified as an ERT member, go to http://www.la-umc.org/ and prepare for short mission trips if possible. The Desert Southwest Conference office may also be able to help coordinate teams through UMVIM Coordinator Mike Eyer at or Disaster Relief Coordinator at .
  4. Encourage financial support for future ERT trips, to help offset costs for the members of this Conference who sacrifice so much in other ways. Donations can be sent to the Desert Southwest Conference office if anyone wishes to help local team members travel to affected areas in the future.

This is what we should NOT do at this time:

  1. Please do NOT take up a collection of random items based solely on news or even personal reports from Louisiana. This would include clothing, shoes, diapers, food, and water. Unsolicited donations can lead to a second disaster when an organization’s infrastructure has been damaged as badly as Louisiana’s has been.
  2. Please do NOT contact churches in Louisiana directly with an offer to assist or send teams. Please allow the local churches time to respond to their local community, and please allow the Conference and denominational response system to function. This includes contacting churches with offers of financial assistance, physical donations, and work teams. There are some procedures that need to take place before those offers can be properly received. Coordinate all servants/volunteers through the website http://www.la-umc.org/ for the quickest and most efficient communication.
  3. Please keep your pastor and the Conference leadership (listed above) current on the latest communication anyone has with response efforts.

The Desert Southwest Conference gives thanks for the generosity shown by so many sacrificial hearts. All love and action is appreciated, now and in the future. With your help, God’s glory will continue to be evident through every disaster we face.

Fred Heggestad
Desert Southwest Conference
Disaster Relief Coordinator

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