AN UPDATE FROM BISHOP BENFIELD
Some disasters are quickly occurring events and require an immediate response. Think of what it is like when a tornado strikes; in a matter of minutes the damage is done. Other disasters, such as the flooding that is now occurring in Arkansas, occur over a long period of time, and the extent of damage sometimes takes a long time to assess.
You can also send a check to the Diocese of Arkansas, P.O. Box 164668, LR, AR, 72216.
Some people have already been out of their homes for weeks as they prepared for the flood. And even though the Arkansas River has crested in the central part of the state, the waters remain high, and people will be out of their homes for weeks to come. Ginger Bailey, Jan Thames, and the Arkansas Episcopal Disaster Relief Team are working with state authorities and other charitable groups to see how we can best respond. They are also talking with representatives of Episcopal Relief and Development to determine if a grant from that group is appropriate. And they are working with volunteers from some congregations to get them ready for the long-term work that will be necessary to get people back into their houses.
If you want to join the group of volunteers coordinated by Ginger Bailey and Jan Thames, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Most likely, long-term relief work will begin in the western part of the state and move eastward. If you would like to help financially, you can send a check to the Diocese of Arkansas, P.O. Box 164668, Little Rock, AR, 72216 (marked for “disaster relief”) or give online through ACS, our secure online portal.
It is always heartbreaking to see a natural disaster take place, as has been the case in Arkansas these last few days. But simultaneously it is so heartening to see people ready to help others recover. It is yet another reminder that we are serving Christ’s own self as we serve others who suffer from catastrophe.