UPDATE (11:20 a.m. Oct. 9, 2015) -- South Carolina mission leaders are now calling for "health kits" and "school kits," which they anticipate will be most needed as the state recovers from losses caused by widespread flooding.
Holston groups are encouraged to assemble these needed supplies and deliver to their district offices.
That’s the message for Holston Conference United Methodists who want to reach out to their neighbors in South Carolina, after a historic rainstorm caused widespread flooding and 16 deaths. The storms began Sept. 24 and continued through Oct. 5.
Mission leaders have asked Holston congregations not to send work teams to South Carolina, until leaders in the South Carolina Annual Conference send the request.
“We are not ready for ERTs (Early Response Teams) from other states yet, as we are in the process of assessing what we can get to,” said Billy Robinson, South Carolina Conference ERT coordinator. “We cannot get into many areas yet due to this water, but just as much due to road closings and blocked or washed-out areas.”
Robinson said the request for teams could go out as soon as next week. “We have been planning and will go through the proper channels for asking for out-of-state teams.”
The Rev. Michael Sluder, Holston director of connectional ministries, reemphasized the message today in the Alcoa Conference Center. “Don’t just show up in South Carolina,” he said to Holston mission volunteers. “You’ll just cause more problems.”
“We have stored ‘cleaning buckets,’ which could go quickly when they are needed,” said Jim Fetzer, Holston disaster response coordinator. “We always need ‘health kits,’ which are in shorter supply.”
Church members may deliver their completed ‘cleaning buckets’ and ‘health kits’ to their district offices, Sluder said. The Holston Conference missions office will make arrangements to pick up and deliver the supplies to South Carolina as needed.
Fetzer will also contact trained volunteer teams when South Carolina calls for out-of-state assistance.