United Methodist, area churches provide "homes" for volunteer flood teams

January 28, 2015

Community UMC, Ogden, UT volunteer team

Above: The volunteer team from Community United Methodist Church in Ogden, Utah, was hosted by All Saints Episcopal Church in Loveland, Colorado.

As most people realize by now, the September 2013 Colorado floods were devastating. The flooding killed 10 people, injuring at least 16,000 others. At least 50 bridges in the state were severely damaged or destroyed with 200 miles of roads impacted by the flooding. Access to communities was cut off in many cases. Businesses, from tourist to agriculture, were severely impacted. Eleven counties were designated major disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance by FEMA. About 18,000 people were forced to relocate. Almost 2,000 homes were destroyed, while more than 28,000 were severely damaged.

With all the chaos and uncertainty that the flood created, one thing was for sure – there were volunteers ready and willing to help survivors recover and rebuild after the disaster. Flood recovery would not be possible if it weren’t for the volunteers. And these are volunteers from all over the country – some are from Methodist congregations, some from other faiths, and some are unaffiliated individuals who just want to help. When these volunteers come to Colorado to aid in flood recovery projects they need a “home away from home.”

Many area United Methodist Churches committed to be that home away from home. And, because these people* and congregations* have been integral to the recovery and healing of flood survivors, the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Flood Recovery Team would like to give a shout out to them, their members and some of the individuals who have been so selfless and helped so much.

  • Joanie Calhoun and the Erie UMC took cookies to several volunteer groups on several occasions.
  • Windsor UMC held potlucks for the volunteer groups that they housed.
  • Broomfield UMC and Greeley UMC made welcome bags for volunteer groups that contained candy, toiletries, and other fun items.
  • Pat Marrs and the Martha Guild at All Saints Episcopal were very welcoming to volunteers.

The churches that have hosted volunteers are:

  • FUMC Loveland
  • Trinity UMC Loveland
  • FUMC Longmont (Heart of Longmont)
  • Longs Peak UMC Longmont
  • Niwot UMC
  • FUMC Windsor
  • FUMC Greeley
  • Fort Morgan UMC
  • Faith UMC in Sterling
  • Christ UMC in Fort Collins
  • Berthoud UMC
  • Christ UMC in Sterling provided meals to the volunteer group that Faith UMC hosted
  • Volunteers were also housed by All Saints Episcopal and Mountain View Presbyterian Church in Loveland

And, early last spring volunteer groups stayed at the Parrish Ranch along the Little Thompson River. It is a resort that suffered major damage in the flood. In exchange for working on the property, some volunteer groups stayed there at no charge. Also, many of these same churches have been very gracious in hosting UMCOR staff meetings and LTRG (Long Term Recovery Group) meetings, as well as hosting training classes for staff and volunteers.

The hospitality and kindness that these churches displayed did not go unnoticed or unappreciated. The road to flood recovery is still a lengthy one, but with the help of volunteers and churches like these, there is a light at the end of the long tunnel.

*We apologize to any churches or individuals we unintentionally may have missed! You are ALL very special and important to the flood recovery process and we thank you.

Click here to get more information about the Colorado UMCOR team and its continuing work with helping flood survivors.