Greetings from the Dir. of Recovery,
We have lots of exiting news in the world of disaster recovery. In the last two weeks the Conference has hired two new staff people! As many of you know, Pastor Melisa Bracht-Wagner as of September 1, 2009, will be our full time Conference Disaster Volunteer Coordinator. And Roy Wier will be our Conference Project/Construction Manager. He replaces Curt Liscum who has decided to go back to his job with Benchmark after taking 14 months to help with recovery work. We are blessed to have such talented, dedicated individuals working for disaster recovery. A great big thank you goes out to Benchmark and Curt Liscum for all they have contributed in the last 14 months!
Block by Block continues to move forward. The following is an email sent by Clint Twedt-Ball to Block by Block staff:
What an amazing time Doug Miller and I had down on 1300 J St. SW tonight. Great turnout and a caring sense of community. Let me tell you a story that shows what this block is all about. As the waters rose last year to cover this neighborhood, Dave, who owns a pest control business on 16th Ave. and several rentals including one on this block, hauled out his huge grill with a sound system on it. As the National Guard rolled in, Dave got as close as he could to his house with the grill. He cranked up the music and the grill and fed more than 200 people out of his pocket as homes, including ones he owned, were going under. He got such a thrill out of it that he went and did the same thing in Palo, with local businesses out there picking up the tab for the meat. This block is a picture of diversity and resilience where neighbors are helping neighbors learn rebuilding skills and supporting each other with perseverance. They asked if they could please sign the covenant tonight and when told they had to give it several days to simmer, they said they would be sure the group was even bigger next Thursday. They will start the meeting next week with a barbecue at 6 pm and business at 7 pm. I think they would be open to meeting more folks, so just let us know if you want to come either at 6 or 7 pm and we will pass the information on. They will meet at the building with the big ant above it at 16th Ave. Kathie, we told them to bring their calendars so you could start scheduling appointments. It is good to get out and meet folks like this to be reminded of how important this program is and just how hard residents are willing to work to bring their neighborhood back.
This email gives you a glimpse of how Block by Block is progressing and the excitement that is growing in these flooded neighborhoods. Art McClanahan has posted a video of the Opening Day of Block by Block that can be viewed on the Conference Website. AND volunteers are what will keep this going!! Get your teams fired up - we NEED YOU! You can call Melisa and she will get you signed up 877-393-1607! The United Methodist Church was asked to be included in this partnership because we have proven to this community that our volunteers are awesome, wonderful, dedicated people!
Please continue to keep Fayette County and Eldora, Iowa in your prayers as they were hit hard by wind and hail. Pastor Rick Johnson, from St. Paul's UMC in Elgin, Iowa, sent an email to me that stated over 300,000 acres of crops were damaged in Fayette Co.! And as he stated the media didn't really give justice to the amount of damage they sustained.
Last words from me this week - VOLUNTEERS - we need YOU!
Director of Recovery - Storms 2008
Iowa Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
2200 Heritage Green Dr.
Hiawatha, IA 52233
(319) 393-1607 (office)
(515) 238-5346 (cell)