Sept. 22, 2005
The Rev. Tom Hazelwood
By United Methodist News Service
of faith can respond in many ways to provide healing and support in the
face of devastating hurricanes and other disasters, according to a
United Methodist relief official.
Rev. Tom Hazelwood, disaster response executive for the United
Methodist Committee on Relief, shared five tips for responding to such
disasters during an interview with the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive
of United Methodist Communications.
most important thing people can do is support UMCOR financially,"
Hazelwood said. The relief agency provides a long-term response to needs
resulting from such disasters, and the money raised will be used by
UMCOR for years to come.
of all, people can give appropriate material resources," Hazelwood
said. In most disasters, UMCOR asks for specific items, usually flood
buckets and health kits, and the agency will make other needs known as
material support doesn’t mean cleaning out your closets or garage and
sending those items, he said. "That’s not appropriate giving."
people can pray – pray for those affected by the storm and for those
who respond to the disaster. "That’s an important resource," Hazelwood
people can volunteer to help with the recovery. "We need more people to
contact Volunteers In Mission" through their annual conference or other
means, he said. People can create a team or join one that is already
planning to work in the disaster area.
Hazelwood encourages people to seek support for relief at their place
of work. "Encourage your business or wherever you work to support UMCOR
and the work that we do."
and other relief workers met with Hollon and the Rev. Randy Day, top
executive of the denomination’s Board of Global Ministries, in early
September. Visiting Louisiana and Mississippi, Hollon also spoke with
the Rev. Mary Gaudreau, director of care ministries for United Methodist
Disaster Response in the Oklahoma Annual (regional) Conference.
deployed to Mississippi by UMCOR, emphasized the importance of
realizing that God is working through the community of faith.
experience with disaster is … we allow God to be God, and incredible
things happen," she said. "Wondrous things happen in terms of
coincidences that aren’t really coincidences. We see prayers that are
Information on supporting UMCOR through giving, assembling material resources or volunteering is available online at http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor/info.stm. Go to the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page and click on your area of interest.
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.