Oregon Members in Ministry Deployed to Arkansas
Even before last week's storms in Arkansas had subsided, Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (ACS-DR) personnel from around the country were teleconferencing, and within hours had assessment teams on the ground. At the request of the State of Arkansas, ACS-DR is fulfilling its primary role in the national disaster response community, which is Donations Operations -- the managing and staffing of a warehouse where donations are sorted and distributed to appropriate agencies. A viable warehouse was identified on Wednesday, April 30, and lodging for volunteers was confirmed on Thursday, May 1 -- all well within the expected timeline for such a project.
Given the limited number of volunteers who can be accommodated at such a site, Oregon Conference was very pleased to have three of our Members in Ministry deployed to Arkansas on Friday, May 2: Dale Ziegele of the Meadow Glade Church in Battle Ground, WA; Joy James of the McMinnville, OR, Church; and Michael Rae of the Grants Pass, OR, Church. All three had participated in Oregon ACS-DR trainings for an assignment such as this; it is Rae's first deployment.
To donate, visit communityservices.org; or make out your check to ACS-DR and mail it to Adventist Community Services, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD 20904; or mark your tithe envelope ACS-DR. (Note that it is ACS-DR, not ADRA, who responds to disasters in the United States.)
How you and your church or group can help
With so much trouble and so many disasters surrounding us, or even far away, what can you do to help? ACS gives advice on how to be prepared for a disaster and to help others when affected here.
For an example of how your financial donations and ACS volunteerism are multiplied, read this report from the Georgia-Cumberland Conference ACS Director Terry Haight, who tallied up the value of the volunteers, the donated goods and hlep during one disaster aftermath in 2011.
1) Donate online
2) Drop a donation in your local church offering place marked ACS Disaster Relief Fund
3) Call 1-800-381-7171 or
4) Mail a check or money order to:
Adventist Community Services Disaster Response
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904
Another way to help is for groups to create various types of personal care kits that can be distributed immediately to disaster survivors. Instructions and lists for different types of kits can be found at the NAD ACS website.
Some might want to become a trained volunteer or leader, ready to serve in the traumatic aftermath of disasters. ACS offers training for various aspects of community service, and the training schedule is posted and regularly updated at the NAD ACS website.
For updates, "Like" the following Facebook pages.
More tornadoes will come
Some 1,200 tornadoes touch down across the United States each year, most commonly in the spring months, a transition time when unsettled weather is more likely to occur.
Adventist Community Services Disaster Response (ACS DR) is involved in the cycle of disaster by providing training in personal and church preparedness, by providing relief through immediate organized community response through collection and distribution of donated goods appropriate to the situation, and by chain saw ministry, debris removal and other relief endeavors. Adventists are also involved in broad-scale relief by working with community entities and long-term relief committees on an ongoing basis. During peace time Adventist Disaster Response volunteers attend local community meetings dealing with community disaster preparedness.
Oregon ACS DR is a member of Oregon Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (ORVOAD). North American Division ACS DR is a member of National Voluntary Organizations in Disasters (NVOAD). These organizations are important coalitions of organizations such as American Red Cross, Salvation Army, Church of the Brethren, Mennonites, Presbyterians and many other faith-based and community organizations who work together to respond to disasters on a national and local level.
ACS DR has an agreement with Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to provide donations management in times of a presidentially-declared disaster. This means any Adventist is welcome to help in all types of disasters if they are licensed responders. FEMA is currently drawing up guidelines which will require all volunteers to be licensed with an affiliated organization in order to be allowed to help in disaster response.
Volunteers are encouraged to become licensed so they can be used immediately and more extensively in disaster. Training events are provided for Seventh-day Adventist members to be ready for disaster here or to deploy to other areas of the country. Please refer to the training schedule listed for the Disaster Response training near you.