May 4, 2011
From Anne Travis of Holston Conference UMC
I am sure you are receiving as many calls as we have received requesting how persons can help respond to the tornado disaster of last Wednesday and Thursday. We have compiled a list of immediate needs, which is attached to this email message. Please share this information as widely as possible. We are asking District churches to respond to the geographic area that is located most closely to them. Many areas are requesting our help now, and we know that Holston always responds with incredible generosity.
Also, we are receiving many calls about scheduling work teams. Only Wytheville District (tornado in Pulaski on April 8) is scheduling work teams at this time. As of now, no area within Holston affected by the tornadoes last week has been released from Early Response to begin scheduling work teams. Damage assessments are ongoing, and areas are not released until appropriate State and County authorities and insurance companies have completed assessments. We hope to have a list of all work needs by the end of this week, at which time we will let you know and will begin getting these teams scheduled. We will only accept trained VIM teams (training provided in each District) with acceptable UMVIM insurance. We ask your patience with us as we compile the lists of work teams needed and set up the system to schedule the teams, and we ask your support in helping members of our churches to understand. Again, we hope to have that information in place later this week. As always, we will most likely be the very last to leave in each of these areas. We are in this for the long haul.
We will continue to collect money, which we know will be desperately needed as we seek to aid these communities. Donations can be made through Holston Conference Advance #143 (funds that will remain within the Conference) or through UMCOR Spring Storms 2011 Advance #3021326 (funds will be shared across the Southeast and in areas affected by flooding).
Finally, we continue to hold all those persons so deeply and tragically affected by the storms in our prayers. May we represent the best that the United Methodist Church can be as we respond to them.
Thank you to those who helped in compiling this list. Please do not hesitate to call if you have questions.
Grace and peace,
Anne S. Travis
Director of Connectional Ministries
Holston Conference of The United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 850
217 S. Rankin Road
Alcoa, TN 37701-0850