Hurricane Relief – Ways to Help

Updated 10/2/2017: Below is a letter from our Bishop, Peggy Johnson. I have copied her letter in full. In her letter, she is appealing to church leaders to enlist our members to help in the relief efforts initially taking place in the flood devastated areas of Texas. Additional hurricanes have devastated other areas in Florida and Puerto Rico. Bishop Johnson speaks of ways to help – so Epworth – you know, “the church that does so much,” is responding to her plea. It is what we do, after all.
To date we have already provided over 100 Flood Buckets and over 150 Health Kits that help people clean their homes and property as well as bathe themselves under some of the worst conditions. Each Flood Bucket costs approximately $70 to build. YOU have come through with the supplies!
Additionally, YOUR monetary contributions have topped $14,000. YOU have been phenomenal in your generosity!
Hurricanes José and Maria made landfall after Hurricane Irma, UMCOR did as well. The UMCOR teams are hard at work, first in Texas, and now in Florida and Puerto Rico.

I am now passing along to you the ways that Epworth plans to join in the relief efforts…

  1. Monetary donations are being accepted in the church office. Checks should be written to Epworth UMC with “HARVEY RELIEF” written in the memo line. We will make certain that the funds go to the relief fund via UMCOR*.
  2. Bring items to Epworth to help put together Cleaning Buckets and Personal Hygiene Kits. CLICK HERE to see the items needed. Collection boxes will be in the main hallway.
  3. Please consider… joining members and volunteers of our Social Justice & Missions Committee to stand outside Lowes, Home Depot and grocery stores asking people to purchase an item on a list we give them while they are in the store shopping. Details to follow….
  4. Forward this e-mail to a friend who may be willing to help us in our efforts.
  5. Please continue to pray.
Living in a coastal area, we too, are vulnerable to devastating storms and floods. Think of what it would mean to you if strangers from hundreds of miles away took a few hours out of their busy schedules or a few dollars out of their wallet to send their caring love to help us get back on our feet. It is time that we show our caring love and help them, or as the Bishop puts it, “Your servant heart”.
Note: Reber and the team asked Home Depot and Lowe’s to donate 100 5-gallon buckets/lids – they both came through – 50 buckets and lids each! THANK YOU!
We have filled the 100 donated buckets; therefore, we are in need of buckets and lids.

Kenny Mahan

Program Manager, Inviting All Ministry

for the Social Justice & Missions Committee
Someone asked how building Flood Buckets and Health Kits now can help people who have just been affected by the storms in September. The answer is simple, UMCOR stores Flood Buckets and Health Kits in warehouses around the world. Flood Buckets and Health Kits that were needed in affected areas were pulled from the warehouses and shipped to the region… prior to the storms even making landfall… and delivered into the needed areas as soon as it was safe. Our bucket and kit builds refill the warehouses for the next storm.
* UMCOR: The United Methodist Committee on Relief is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to alleviating human suffering around the globe. UMCOR’s work includes programs and projects in disaster response, health, sustainable agriculture, food security, relief supplies, and more. UMCOR is 100% funded by The United Methodist Church – every penny given to UMCOR goes directly to RELIEF – and not to overhead expenses.

29 August 2017

Dear Pen-Del Family,

I know that many of you have watched the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, particularly in Houston, Texas and Louisiana. This is a disaster that will take years from which to recover.

I know have been fervently praying for our sisters and brothers in those areas of catastrophe,  but there is more that you can do, that we can do together!

At this time UMCOR [United Methodist Committee on Relief] has asked for financial resources, cleaning buckets and hygiene kits. [Please note that NO OTHER SUPPLIES CAN BE ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME—NO CLOTHING, NO FURNITURE, ETC.]. There are many ways in which you can assist with this:
  • Each church in our Annual Conference can take a special offering. Checks can be made to your church with the notation US Disaster Advance # 901670 and sent to our Conference office, which will in turn, forward the funds to UMCOR. This will ensure that your church will also receive credit for these donations. Or you can donate online at UMCOR.
  • This Labor Day weekend we can make a statement as United Methodists across our Conference –your church can ask a local grocery or market to allow you to collect supplies for cleaning buckets and hygiene kits. It is a win-win for your church in making its presence known in the community, grocery stores and markets increase their sales AND WE COLLECT DESPERATELY NEEDED SUPPLIES FOR THE DISASTER. Attached you will find:
  • A template for a letter which you can present to the manager of the grocery store [fill in your church’s information in appropriate places]. Go today to get your local market involved! Work with your grocery on the appropriate day and time [for instance 10-2]. Begin getting church members to take a shift of one or two hours to do this; if you have church tee shirts—wear them!
  • Supply lists which you can hand out to shoppers as they enter the store [be sure and have some shopping carts ready to receive the items which folks will purchase].You will be AMAZED at what just four hours in front of a grocery store can help collect. People WANT to help and you are giving them the vehicle by which they can make a difference! You also need to be prepared to truck these supplies back to your church.
  • We are working with Christiana HUB and Mission Central to coordinate getting these supplies to the stricken areas and will work with you.
  • You can accept checks made to your church with the notation US Disaster Advance # 901670 and sent to our Conference office, which will in turn, forward the funds to UMCOR. This will ensure that your church will also receive credit for these donations.
  • A series of posters which you can adapt for your church in both WORD and PDF form


Your church members can go to to learn how to put the kits together – this is a great post-worship activity!


Thank you for your servant hearts,

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson