Update, December 26, 2018:
Hurricane Florence made landfall on September 16, devastating thousands in North Carolina.
Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Coordinator, assessed the need for donation centers and volunteer team housing, supporting local congregations in the impacted area to serve the larger community.
Truckloads of water, flood buckets with cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, garden hoses, more than 1,000 hygiene kits, 500 layettes/baby items, 2,000 quilts and Bibles, school supplies and pet food have been delivered to families in need from New Bern, NC to Wilmington, NC and sites in between by NALC Disaster Response.
NALC Congregations are being asked to respond to the following needs:
- Volunteer teams for rebuilding homes are needed in New Bern, NC, Wilmington, NC and Rosenberg, TX (Hurricane Harvey long-term recovery), where on-going recovery is in process. Spiritual Christian care teams are needed with each team completing rebuilds, including clergy and laity, to minister to families as they return to their damaged homes; to pray with them and remind them that the Body of Christ is there for and with them in this difficult time. Volunteer teams will be needed throughout the next year and devastated families will need help for a number of years. Mary Bates is addressing the needs for the California wildfires and will post volunteer team needs on the NALC website as it develops.
- Donations of gift cards for building supplies for the volunteer teams to utilize on-site. Flooring is a significant need. Monetary donations may be sent to NALC Disaster Response.
- Flood Bucket & Kit Challenge: Thank you to each mission district now hosting a disaster warehouse. The warehouses in Caldwell, OH, Statesville, NC, Kings Mountain, NC and Rosenberg, TX need filled—they are empty going into 2019. Will your youth or women’s groups host a collection of flood buckets, health kits, school kits, quilts or layettes? Most importantly Bibles? Items needed in each kit are posted on the NALC website under “Disaster Response.”
To Assist with long term recovery efforts:
- Monetary donations may be given online or sent to NALC Disaster Response; 2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220; New Brighton, MN 55112-2202.
Donate material goods to the NALC Disaster Warehouse, 810 Main St., Caldwell, Ohio, 43724 or call Mary at 740-509-1132; gift cards from building supply stores are welcomed!
Schedule your mission trip to a disaster impacted area in 2018—contact Mary by email at [email protected] or 740-509-1132.
Continue your prayers for those struggling to recover—God is with us always!
So that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
—2 Corinthians 1:4 NIV
Update, November 27, 2018:
Mary Bates, NALC disaster response coordinator, has established donation centers and volunteer housing through our congregations in each of the disaster impacted areas. To donate or volunteer in 2019 for any of these disasters, please contact Mary at 740-509-1132 or [email protected].
California Wildfires (2018):
Through Our Savior Lutheran Church – Auburn CA, NALC Disaster Response is supporting response to the “Camp Fire.” California has had over 70 wildfires in 2018 and our congregations have been there to respond and provide support during the rebuilding process for families without homeowners insurance.
Hurricanes Florence and Michael (2018):
Reformation Lutheran Church – New Bern NC and St. Matthew Lutheran Church – Wilmington NC are hosting volunteers for long-term recovery rebuilding. Adult and youth teams are needed. Donations of building supplies and furniture is needed.
Hurricane Harvey (2017):
Long-term recovery rebuilding is on-going for the thousands of families who were impacted by Harvey in September 2017. Volunteers are really needed. Families are living in flood damaged homes as there are no other options for them.
Local responses are taking place in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania.
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Update, November 16, 2018:
NALC congregations in North Carolina have moved into long term recovery for Hurricane Florence families. Volunteers are needed to deliver furniture, to provide rebuilding of homes, and to minister spiritual Christian care. We are also collecting new toys for Christmas for the children who have lost everything.
Through an LCMC congregation, NALC Disaster Response has delivered a truck load of emergency supplies to the Panama City area.
Long term recovery rebuild teams are needed in Texas for Hurricane Harvey recovery — Peace Lutheran Church in Rosenberg, Texas will host volunteers throughout the winter months.
California congregations have not been impacted by the wildfires, however, Our Savior – Auburn CA is reaching out to some of the families at Paradise.
Please pray for the families who have lost loved ones.
Mary Bates is scheduling volunteer teams, collecting donations of furniture and toys and gift cards — to donate, contact Mary at 740-509-1132 or [email protected]. The need will be on-going as we think about 2019!
Update, Oct 15, 2018:
Flood Bucket Challenge Update: Thanks to your efforts, there is a box truck filled with flood buckets and relief supplies ready to go at Mary Bates’ direction. This means, however, that the warehouses are once again empty. With Hurricane Michael’s destruction now added to the mix, the need remains greater than ever and we will need to stock the warehouses again as quickly as possible. Our goal will be to continue to keep the supplies coming throughout the fall until there is no further need and the warehouses are full for next year’s hurricane season.
There remains an immediate need for industrial-size trash bags and N95 disposable respirator masks for the clean-up efforts, so please include them in your collections:
Flood Bucket Challenge
25 Flood Buckets or more*
Bibles (include one Bible for every bucket)
Trash bags (black, industrial size)
N95 Disposal respirator masks (standard size, generic or 3M brand)
25 Health Kits
Diapers (any and all sizes)
*Caldwell Ohio has a large number of empty buckets at the warehouse, so contact Mary before you buy new ones.
Please limit your material donations to the items listed above. No bottled water is necessary at this time.
A description of the kits is available at:
Have your congregations collect these items as soon as possible and deliver them to the National Disaster Warehouse in Caldwell, Ohio—contact Mary Bates for pick up options.
Gift Cards (Lowes or Home Depot, only) are also welcome. They should be designated “NALC Disaster Response” and mailed directly to Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Response Coordinator, at:
Mary Bates: NALC Disaster Response
810 Main St.
Caldwell, OH 43724
Monetary donations may be made directly online at:
Checks may also be made payable to “North American Lutheran Church” for “Disaster Response Fund,” and mailed to:
North American Lutheran Church
2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220
New Brighton, MN 55112-2202
Need for Drivers: NALC Disaster Response is compiling two lists of those who are willing and able to drive trucks for current and future disaster response efforts in the Carolinas, Virginia, Florida and Georgia:
- Drivers for 26-foot box trucks
- Owners of trucks that can pull gooseneck trailers loaded to a capacity of 10,000-12,000 lbs
Two-person driving teams are preferred. If you or your parishioners are interested, please contact Mary.
Volunteer Work Crews and Spiritual Care Teams
Mary Bates continues to coordinate Volunteer Work Crews to our sites in the Carolinas, and she will be doing the same for areas affected by Hurricane Michael. Once again, especially now with respect to Michael’s aftermath, we need to be mindful that we do not send too many people too soon, so as to create a burden for local personnel. There is much work to be done over a long period of time: cleaning now, rebuilding later. With all this in mind, Mary will gladly work with you to schedule crews from your congregations.
We will also need Spiritual Care Teams, including both clergy and laity, to minister to families as they return to their damaged homes: to pray with them and remind them that the Body of Christ is there for and with them in this difficult time.
Please prayerfully consider how your congregations might help with this overall effort, and coordinate with Mary Bates at (740) 509-1132 or [email protected].
Please continue to pray for all those who have suffered the loss of loved ones, homes and property in the wake of these storms, and for those who continue to come to their aid.
Update, Oct 13, 2018:
As search and rescue teams continue, help is needed with debris removal, especially chainsaw teams. NALC Disaster Response is resilient and we are reaching out with the love of Jesus to the thousands of families impacted by Hurricane Michael. Until volunteers are allowed to be on-site to help, send your monetary donations to NALC Disaster Response, 2299 Palmer Dr, Suite 220, New Brighton, MN 55112.
Update, Oct 12, 2018:
NALC Disaster Response is assessing the damages caused by Hurricane Michael and stands ready to assist and support any of our congregations who have been impacted.
If your congregation or any of your members have damages, please contact Mary Bates as soon as possible and we will provide assistance.
If you have resources or can help in any way, also please let Mary know.
Monetary donations should be sent to NALC Disaster Response, 2299 Palmer Dr., Suite 220, New Brighton, MN 55112.
Continue to watch for updates. An update on our Hurricane Florence transition into long-term recovery will follow; volunteer teams are needed as we start the rebuilding process.
Please pray for the families and their recovery from this devastating storm.
Mary Bates, Director NALC Disaster Response, 740-509-1132, [email protected]
Update, Oct 9, 2018:
Thanks be to God — He is good! Reformation Lutheran Church – New Bern NC is housing volunteers and has the donations center running smoothly. Thank you Pastor Alan Daughtery.
St. Matthew – Wilmington NC is also housing volunteers and has the donations center up and running. Thank you Pastor Sam Zumwalt and Nancy Magruder.
Over 70,000 people have registered for FEMA assistance, over 40 people have lost their lives due to Hurricane Florence, and now Conway, SC is flooding — evacuations initiated yesterday. Please continue your efforts to collect emergency relief supplies such as flood buckets and Bibles. Volunteers may contact me to schedule time at either location to assist people like Heidi: She is an elderly widow with two trees in her house. She has insurance and is very anxious, even fearful, that she will not understand her insurance agent when the company sends someone. She needs help and is afraid of strangers just showing up. NALC Disaster Response is providing spiritual care and helping her every day by checking on her and scheduling a volunteer to be present when the insurance company arrives. Thank you for your prayers for our families like Heidi.
For more information on how to help the Carolinas Mission District, please contact Mary Bates [email protected] or 740-509-1132.
Convocation gift cards are being used for Hurricane Florence — Reformation in New Bern, NC has 40 Congolese families especially who need assistance.
Kids under the age of ten are preparing disaster relief kits. More kits are needed — especially school kits. Visit thenalc.org/nalc-disaster-response for a list of kit contents.
Update, Sept 24, 2018:
Thanks be to God—he is good! Reformation Lutheran Church, New Bern, NC is housing volunteers and has the donations center running smoothly. Thank you Pastor Alan Daughtery.
St. Matthew, Wilmington, NC is also housing volunteers and has the donations center up and running. Thank you Pastor Sam Zumwalt and Nancy Magruder.
Over 70,000 people have registered for FEMA assistance, over 40 people have lost their lives due to Hurricane Florence, and now Conway, SC is flooding—evacuations initiated yesterday. Please continue your efforts to collect emergency relief supplies, such as flood buckets and Bibles.
Volunteers may contact me to schedule time at either location to assist people like Heidi: She is an elderly widow with two trees in her house. She has insurance and is very anxious, even fearful, that she will not understand her insurance agent when the company sends someone. She needs help and is afraid of strangers just showing up. NALC Disaster Response is providing spiritual care and helping her every day by checking on her and scheduling a volunteer to be present when the insurance company arrives. Thank you for your prayers for our families like Heidi.
For more information on how to help the Carolinas Mission District, please contact Mary Bates at [email protected] or 740-509-1132.
Update, Sept 21, 2018:
Dear NALC congregations,
Your help is needed! It is BAD — I am in New Bern, NC at Reformation Lutheran Church and it’s been seven days since Hurricane Florence made landfall. Homes are flooded, water is standing every where; in homes, on the streets, in churches. Rivers are rising (not receding), causing so much more flooding.
I have never seen this much water SEVEN DAYS after…
The Carolinas Mission District needs you!
1. Send monetary donations to NALC Disaster Response, 2299 Palmer Dr., Suite 220, New Brighton, MN 55112
2. “Stuff the Semi” in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa or deliver flood buckets, health kits, school kits, layettes, Bibles, gift cards and other emergency relief supplies
3. Volunteers are needed: debris removal teams, flood bucket/spiritual care distribution teams in New Bern, Wilmington and possibly Conway, SC
4. Schedule your youth and adult groups for long-term recovery rebuilding now — our congregational members need help repairing their homes.
I ministered to a young mother last evening, as I was pumping gas in my NALC Disaster Volunteer t-shirt. She came to me crying and asked for $5 to buy milk for her baby. The volunteer with me, Ken Watson, gave her $20 and she profusely thanked him, only to find that the store did not have any milk on the shelves and she started crying again. I started praying with her and Ken started asking for milk: a few minutes later we found that Walmart just received a truckload — thanks be to God!
Every road is closed due to water, every family needs prayer and the love of Jesus — will you help?
Update, Sept 17, 2018:
NALC Disaster Response Coordination:
1. Staging areas are: St. John – Statesville NC, Advent – Kings Mountain NC, and Joy Lutheran – Little Mountain SC (Rev. Paulette McHugh)
2. Client distribution/donation centers at this time are: Reformation – New Bern NC, St. Matthew – Wilmington NC, and possibly Advent – North Myrtle Beach SC
3. Volunteer housing is tentatively being scheduled for Reformation – New Bern NC and other sites to be determined.
4. Spiritual Christian care teams are needed — as families return to their homes devastated by the hurricane, they need to know they are not alone on this journey — we as the Church are there for them.
5. NALC Disaster Response is assessing need and evaluating case management/identification of families to be assisted in the long term recovery.
6. Volunteer teams from the eastern US is on standby/ready for deployment to help with clean up now and rebuilding later.
7. Monetary assistance, gift cards and other resources are available through NALC Disaster Response and the Bishop.
8. Link to flood inundation map: https://fiman.nc.gov/fiman/
Next teleconference — see contact information below — for more information, contact Mary Bates at [email protected] or 740-509-1132
Wednesday, Sept 19 9am EDT
Call: +1 (571) 317-3117
Access Code: 866-880-525
Update, Sept 14, 2018:
NALC Disaster Response has now shipped two truck loads of flood buckets, health kits, bottled water and other emergency supplies to North Carolina; staging your donations at St. John, Statesville, NC and Faith Lutheran in Faith, NC.
As the water recedes, the truck will go to Reformation Lutheran Church, New Bern, NC and St. Matthew, Wilmington, NC — volunteers are needed to help unload.
I am also needing volunteers for spiritual Christian care and to start debris removal — to sign up, contact Mary Bates at [email protected] or 740-509-1132.
More flood buckets and kits of all types are needed — please collect asap.
Volunteers are needed — sign up today.
Prayers are needed for our survivors, our pastors and our volunteers!
There is a 9am teleconference Saturday to coordinate our resources and our needs — join us if you can!
Access Code: 596-815-661
Update, Sept 13, 2018:
NALC Disaster Response has been helping in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico for over a year now, and hundreds of our volunteers have restored homes and hope. There continues to be many homes that need rebuilt, especially in Houston/Rosenberg area. Situations like this are expected to be common throughout the Carolinas in the wake of Hurricane Florence.
Florence is being called a record-breaker, with widespread destruction anticipated. Please join us in praying for the safety of the hundreds of thousands in the path of this impending disaster.
Much like Hurricane Harvey that struck the Houston area last year, Florence is expected to linger in the area for days, bringing record rainfall totals and producing historic floods that are likely to destroy and damage homes for hundreds of square miles.
We are preparing for the worst: volunteers are needed for emergency response and then long term recovery rebuilding. If you can volunteer, contact Mary Bates at [email protected] or 740-509-1132.
To donate flood buckets, health kits, school kits, Bibles and other supplies, please check the NALC collection points listed above.
Please send monetary donations to: NALC Disaster Response, 2299 Palmer Dr. Suite 220, New Brighton, MN 55112.
Update, Sept 12, 2018:
NALC Disaster Response is hosting two open teleconferences to provide an update on Hurricane Florence response.
Join a teleconference:
Access Code: 563-601-589
Access Code: 596-815-661
Identified staging areas: St. John Lutheran Church, 740 N. Center St. Statesville, NC and NALC Disaster Warehouse, 810 Main St., Caldwell, Ohio
Items needed: Bibles, bottled water, flood buckets, health kits, school kits, layettes/baby kits and other emergency supplies such as garden hoses/rakes and shovels
Monetary donations may be sent to NALC Disaster Response, 2299 Palmer Dr. Suite 220, New Brighton, MN 55112.
Steps after Hurricane Florence makes landfall:
1. NALC Disaster Relief Coordinator, Mary Bates will complete an assessment of damages to our congregations, families and the larger community needs.
2. Distribution points for flood buckets, etc. will be established. Tentative points are: Advent Lutheran Church – North Charleston SC, St. Matthew Lutheran Church – Wilmington NC and Reformation Lutheran Church – New Bern NC (these are tentative due to unknown scope of damages).
3. Volunteer housing is needed for NALC disaster volunteers who are able to help with clean up and debris removal.
4. Volunteers are needed for spiritual christian care – teams of two will help minister to families as the evacuees return to their homes
5. Mary will post updates daily until a Plan of Action for emergency response and long term recovery is developed.
For more information, contact Mary at [email protected] or 740-509-1132.
Please continue to pray for those in the path of Hurricane Florence – as the Church, we are here to assist and share the love of Jesus.
Update, Sept 11, 2018:
NALC Disaster Response has a teleconference with the Carolinas Mission District and is staging emergency response for Hurricane Florence, one of the strongest hurricanes recorded. Sustained winds of over 140 miles per hour have caused South Carolina to issue mandatory evacuation orders for millions of people. As store shelves are emptied, NALC Disaster Response will be transporting Bibles, flood buckets, health kits, school kits, baby kits, and other emergency relief supplies to North Carolina, South Carolina and other areas as the need is identified. Mary Bates is posting an update daily. For more information, contact Mary at [email protected] or 740-509-1132. Please pray for the millions of families in the path of Florence.