Submitted by Sara Goodwin
Communications Associate, UMCOR Colorado Flood Recovery Team
This year congregations in the Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Methodist Church will host six “Special Sundays,” where a special offering is taken to support a specific ministry of our church.
On Sunday March 15, the special theme is One Great Hour of Sharing. This is a day when we, as Methodists, focus on helping those who have experienced devastation in the wake of disasters and contribute our offerings to that end. This year, One Great Hour of Sharing will benefit the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and its work in disaster response.
For years Methodists in Colorado have given to UMCOR and only recently have those donations come back here to help our neighbors. Those donations have returned to Colorado to help survivors of the devastating September 2013 flooding recover and rebuild. We have seen what a huge impact these funds and the Rocky Mountain Conference/UMCOR Flood Recovery Program have made here in 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. 18,000 people were forced to relocate. Almost 2000 homes were destroyed, while more than 28,000 were severely damaged.
Recovery from the flood is ongoing and there is still a lot of work to be done. Many people are still displaced from their homes or living in sub-par conditions that were caused by the flood. Your offering on March 15, during the One Great Hour of Sharing, is critical to helping UMCOR and assisting people around the state recover and rebuild from this disaster.