By Caleb Hennington
Digital Content Editor
The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church’s Disaster Response team, as well as the Arkansas chapter of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), are continuing their efforts to assist families and homes affected by the historic Arkansas River flood of 2019.
So far, there have been nine volunteer training days held across the state in areas most affected by the flooding. Some of these areas include Dardanelle, Conway, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, Monticello, Dumas, and Batesville.
In total, more than 250 volunteers have signed up to assist families and individuals with “mucking out” their homes. Mucking out is the process of tearing out carpeting, sheetrock and other parts of a home damaged by water that has entered a building.
“There are still areas we haven’t been able to get into yet,” said Byron Mann, Arkansas Conference Disaster Response Co-Coordinator.
Mann estimates that with the help of Arkansas Disaster Relief volunteers, they are saving homeowners anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 in clean out costs. This is only a fraction of the cost of rebuilding a damaged home, but any opportunity to save the homeowner money can make a big difference.
Even though turnout has been good, Mann said they are needing additional volunteers to sign up for training days and help muck out the hundreds of homes still in need of clean up. To sign up to volunteer, visit www.eiseverywhere.com/volunteersignup.
They are also hoping to continue raising money that will be used to assist people in rebuilding their lives once the clean up process is complete. The Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church has raised $15,000 in donations since late May. Mann hopes to continue receiving donations to reach their goal of $100,000.
“This is a long-term process and by the end of it, we hope to have touched hundreds of lives by assisting in the cleanup process,” Mann said.
To donate online, visit bit.ly/arumc-donate and select the first box, “Arkansas Disaster Relief,” to give to families affected by the Arkansas River flood.