VIM and Disaster Response updates: May 5, 2017

For information on any Volunteers In Mission (VIM) project, contact the individual listed or Byron Mann, Conference VIM coordinator: or 870-826-0268. For Disaster Response (DR) projects, contact Byron or Janice Mann, DR co-coordinators: or 870-703-8359 (Janice). On Facebook, join the group “Volunteers in Mission & Disaster Response – Serving Arkansas & Beyond” for updates.

A truck will leave May 14 carrying the next delivery of disaster relief supplies from Arkansas to Sager Brown Depot, the United Methodist Committe on Relief (UMCOR) facility in Baldwin, Louisiana. If your church has items to send, see “Got kits?” in the list at left.

Got kits? Add them to next disaster response supply delivery

Arkansas Conference Disaster Response will be driving a load of disaster relief kits and other supplies from Arkansas to the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Sager Brown Depot on Sunday, May 14. If your church or group has kits to send, contact Byron Mann, or 870-861-5065.

Flood recovery teams still needed

Southeast Arkansas is seeking teams to help with repairs needed as a result of the March 2016 floods. The damage incurred is a result of the same storms that devastated areas of Texas and Louisiana. Organization of long-term recovery was delayed for various reasons, but is now in place and operational. Projects are identified and funding secured, but volunteer help is little to none. When considering mission opportunities, please consider our neighbors in Southeast Arkansas. Several priority cases are waiting. To volunteer, contact Ron Jones, site volunteer coordinator, at or Janice Mann, disaster response coordinator, at

Local churches: prepare now to respond to disaster

Disaster begins and ends locally. The local community owns the response. When the event or the damage overwhelms that community and its resources, then it reaches out for regional and, if needed, statewide assistance. Disaster response organizations in Arkansas are outlining the process for requesting and delivering assistance.

Local churches, prepare to be able to offer assistance for those affected by disaster if you should be approached by your local Red Cross, your local emergency manager or other known disaster response entity. That disaster might be a single-family house fire, a wind storm that affects just one or a few homes or a similar disaster (typically called a “low-level event”). Assistance from the local church might come in the form of food from a food pantry; clothes or household items from a local thrift store; or a church member walking alongside someone affected by disaster to help them navigate the available local resources.

To better understand local church response to disaster, whether in a low-, medium- or high-level event, contact Janice Mann at She and Byron Mann,, are available to speak to individuals, classes or groups, or the whole church, as well as to lead training for a group from your church or community. Both Janice and Byron Mann are available by email or phone for consult whenever a question arises (see contact information above).

Mission in central Texas for high schoolers and adults

The Central Texas Conference is looking for groups of three or more people from high school age (with adult supervision) to adults to work on damaged homes in Hood County, Texas. The work varies: installing sheetrock and insulation, laying flooring, painting and more. On-the-job training is available. To inquire about possible work dates, contact volunteer coordinator/case manager Kathryn Meroney, The Corsicana area has homes waiting for the same types of repairs. To serve in that area, contact Agustin Soto,