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HURRICANE HARVEY

August 30, 2017

Dear ABMen Brothers in Christ;

ABMen USA endeavors to provide representation and communication to all ABC Regions and ABM USA Districts including making sure all regional and local men might be aware of mission and ministry needs. I wanted to update you on recent ministry communications in response to Hurricane Harvey.

American Baptists are members of the North American Baptist Fellowship (NABF) which includes most Baptist denominations across America and Canada including of course ABMen USA and the Texas Baptist Men. The Texas folks are the “big dogs”, well funded and well organized, and we thank God for their ministry. All of the participating NABF organizations have specific “specialties” in terms of what they bring to the recovery table and while there may be regional variations, ABMen USA Disaster Relief is typically a ministry resource for labor, chainsaw & debris removal teams, mud-out services and re-build support following such a disaster. A perfect example of that are the continuing efforts in Sellers, SC following Hurricane Matthew, where teams from West Virginia will make their 6th trip back to that community in just a few days. Our ministry responds wherever needed, tending to seek out the elderly, the poor or the uninsured.

As a men’s ministry we essentially provide clean up labor and re-construction skills. However, much like following Hurricane Katrina, the current response is focused on rescue and rescue support priorities at this time both in SE Texas and SW Louisiana and the call for our response is weeks or more away. A coordinated response is extremely critical to its effectiveness and our information is that it will be several weeks before waters will recede to the point where NABF teams, including ABMen USA Disaster Relief National Coordinator Jack Cobb, will travel to the Texas / Louisiana region to survey the area and identify needs and details of a coming national call for volunteers. For that national call work sites need to be identified and locations for housing & feeding responders need to be arranged. As in the past, ABMen USA and American Baptist Homes Mission Societies (ABHMS) are working together on our response.

Ironically just last week at our National Board meetings in Oregon, ABHMS informed us that approval had been received on a joint grant application (ABHMS / ABM USA) we had submitted for 2 mobile disaster shower trailers, something we have needed many times over the last 10 years. ABMen USA will man and maintain these trailers and one will be staged on the East Coast and the other in the Midwest once construction and delivery are complete - but it’s not known when they will be available to us if at all in regard to this response.

I also wanted to share that I was told yesterday that in anticipation of a national ABMen USA disaster response, our banking partner, Christian Community Credit Union has pledged to match every dollar raised for our relief efforts toward Hurricane Harvey, up to 5000.00.

The reality of this event indicates initially that this may well surpass the needs realized following Hurricane Katrina. This will be a long journey for that region and ABMen USA, along with ABHMS, are working to make sure those willing and able to respond can do so safely and directly to a needed community.

Please continue to pray for all of the first responders, volunteers and the hundreds of thousands of people displaced and affected by Hurricane Harvey. If you or your men’s groups wish to further support our mission at this time, you can send your monetary donations to:

ABMen USA
c/o Dave Cross – Treasurer
223 Maple Street
Athens, Pa 18810

Or donate through our website at www.abmen.org.

May we always be up to HIS challenge.

Bob Slechta
President
American Baptist Men, USA

KEY CONTRIBUTOR

ABMen USA Oklahoma Response 2013

Attached are forms the American Baptist  Home Mission Society requests from us which enables them to provide supplemental medical and travel insurance for volunteers.  The forms should be returned to your Team Leader for consolidation and forwarding to Kim Wilkins ABC-USA HMS-VM (800) 222-3872 ex 2413 kim.wilkins@avhms.org

Acquiring coverage under the Home Mission Society’s insurance is dependant on submitting the forms prior to deployment if possible and definitely prior to incurring a claim.

 

Team Leaders:

As the National Coordinator, I need to submit to FEMA a report by name of each volunteer and the hours worked each day.  The result of this report is that FEMA credits the value ($20+/hr) of our volunteer hours to the local community as an offset of the matching funds they must pay to get the grant assistance FEMA provides.  Thus it is important that I receive from each team a list of volunteers, the hours and job sites for each day worked.  Travel hours are considered work hours.  If you wish to track them separately, I will appreciate it.  If not, OK.

 

Also attached are the forms the WV teams use.  Given the variability of state law, I recommend you have a local attorney review them for validity in your area of work.

 

ABMen WV will deploy 12 volunteers June 2-9 to Moore OK  Work assignments will be provided by the  Serve More Call Center 866 484-3500

 

I have made additional arrangements  lodging, showers and some meals at the St Andrew Methodist Church for 10 volunteers the week of June 2nd and also for the week of June 10th.  Please contact me if you need to use these reserved facilities.

The Mud-out and Chainsaw Training document and Homeowner, Volunteer and Assessment forms will be on the www.abmen.org web site as soon as the web master returns from vacation.

NOTE : TO DOWNLOAD OR VIEW FORMS, CLICK ON NAME, IN THE NEXT WINDOW CLICK ON THE NAME  BELOW ON THE RIGHT

HOMEOWNER CONSENT

DR Volunteer Signup_form WV

ASSESSMENT WORK SHEET

Volunteers In Mission_ Template

Mud-out Chainsaw Training

 

Jack Cobb

American Baptist Men USA

Disaster Relief Coordinator

Disaster.relief@abmen.org

304 206-8462

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