Disaster Relief Update

A Message from Bishop Benfield

The assistance to help victims of Sunday’s tornadoes continues. Here is some of the latest news.

Ginger Bailey, our diocesan disaster relief coordinator, reports that the Rice Depot needs volunteers to help assemble emergency food kits. The Rice Depot also needs churches that will serve as drop-off sites for donations. Email Brandi Johnson at Rice Depot, or call her at 501-565-8855, ext. 142, or 870-723-1212 (cell).

Ginger also reports that as of last night there was no floor space at the disaster sites for donations, so she is asking that individuals not attempt to take donated items themselves to those sites.

Among our congregations, members of several churches gathered last night at St. Luke’s Church in North Little Rock assembling emergency kits. Those kits will be distributed as space is made available at the sites.

St. Peter’s Church in Conway is working with a local church that is serving as a shelter, and it is also assembling a transportation service.

Yesterday, Episcopalians sent about $2,500 to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund for tornado relief, and this money will be used as Ginger Bailey and participating congregations find needs of victims that need to be met. You may contribute toward this relief effort by donating online to the Bishop’s Discretionary Fund or sending money to the “Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, Diocese of Arkansas, P.O. Box 164558, Little Rock, AR 72216” and marking the donation for “tornado relief.”

Several of the bishops in surrounding dioceses, Episcopal Relief & Development representatives, and many individuals from throughout the church have contacted the diocesan office to offer their support. As your bishop, I am thankful for all the support offered by so many people both inside and outside this state.