Helping with Tear-down

Since December, we’ve had six teams (13 folks from WPC, as well as people from Cary Presbyterian and Chapel Hill) give a day in Tarboro/Princeville to assist in the tear-down and clean-up of debris from Hurricane Matthew. Teams worked on seven separate homes on the trips.

You generously provided $5,093 to the Disaster Response Fund from the Christmas Eve Offering. Individuals have donated over $5,000 to the fund in memory of Sally Ransford. We have spent about $200 on hazmat suits/masks, hammers, crowbars, tape measures, etc. for work teams to use. The donations in memory of Sally Ransford let us purchase a large generator for WPC that we used as we tore out walls and floors. Most of the damaged homes are finally ready for rebuilding.

Helping with Rebuilding

This next stage of Disaster Response requires much more effort: construction teams, case management, materials management, and lots of state and federal paperwork. The UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) team has established a volunteer camp with cooking facilities, showers, and bunk beds so the task of rebuilding can begin. UMCOR manages the rebuilding and assigns work to construction teams. Teams spend up to a week at the camp, working on houses, much as we do at Habitat in Durham. Rebuilding will continue for the next 2-3 years.

To rebuild a house you need tools and equipment. A week ago, Doug Wellemeyer and Walt Beckwith cleaned up the white Disaster Response trailer that has sat for 10 years in the parking lot, and on May 2 transferred the title of the trailer to UMCOR. It will be a mobile “tool shed,” moved from site to site where houses are being rebuilt.

Our next step is to purchase some tools critical to the work. Paul Ransford contacted Jason DuVall, the coordinator in Tarboro, and they have created a list of tools and equipment vital to rebuilding. Last week, the Global Missions Committee voted to use some of the Sally Ransford memorial donations to buy them. Paul Ransford and Chick Palermo will shop for the tools and get them delivered to Tarboro/Princeville this month.

For now, we don’t have any specific dates to go down east identified. If one or more people want to go down in the near future, please call me and I’ll help you with arrangements. For the longer term, we need to know what interest there might be in having a Build-Team Mission Trip as we have had in the past for Hurricanes Fran and Floyd in North Carolina, Katrina in Mississippi, Ivan in Florida, and the flooding in Nashville.

Please share with me your ideas, questions, and concerns. And thanks again for your support! You are truly helping!

Dorene Palermo (919-620-0156, dorenepalermo@gmail.com)