2020 Derecho Response

As you all know, the impact of last Monday’s derecho is most likely the largest disaster to hit our community. For the first few days, many were just focused on stabilizing their own lives and those in their neighborhood — and rightly so! We need to care for those near us first. Others who were not as impacted have already been volunteering and assisting where they can.

We are now a week after the storm. For those who have the time and ability, there is still work to be done by us as individuals, churches, and Christian organizations. You will find below and in the PDFs linked to in this email a variety of ways you can join with others to care for our community in the name of Christ.

As we are still in the process of searching for the new Serve The City Executive Director, Marcus Bratsch has graciously offered to be the point person for Serve The City during this crisis. His role will be to both discover needs and resources and communicate with Serve The City friends and members. Any inquiries can be directed to Marcus via his phone: 320-905-0279.

May God use us to be His hands and feet during this time of need.

James Wartian
on behalf of the Serve The City Board and Teams


Church Resources

EMERGENCY NEED:
Matthew 25 is working with over 30 medically vulnerable people who need generators immediately. If you can provide generators or donate money towards helping them purchase generators for these high-risk people you can call 319-651-0470 or bring them to 604 Ellis Blvd. If you can give, please go online go to hub25.org/donate25 and select “TOOL LIBRARY.”

COORDINATING OUR EFFORTS:
The team at United Way is serving as the hub for all volunteer efforts in Cedar Rapids.

  • If you have people who are looking to help in the city, please have them visit: https://uweci.org/volunteernow or call: 224-406-1366
  • If church groups are coming from outside our community this is the best location to send them to if you do not have immediate places to use them through your church.
  • If you have people looking for assistance, please have them call: 224-406-1366
  • Please work to record your churches volunteer efforts. If you can create a simple spreadsheet with each person’s name who helped others and the number of hours they worked, that information will be transferred into federal money for our community’s relief efforts. At CR First we are simply setting up an email and a google doc for people to give that information to us. We will let you know exactly who to turn that information into.

LIST OF RESOURCES

CITY/COUNTY: There are many, many resources available in the city. Attached to this email is a flyer from the city they are trying to get distributed into the community. Please copy this off and hand it out to people as liberally as possible.

  • NEIGHBORHOOD RESOURCE CENTERS: These are locations donations of supplies can be brought to and where individuals or groups can visit to gather supplies to bring into neighborhoods. There are needs for volunteers to help at these centers. (See linked Cedar Rapids Storm Resources PDF for location details.)
  • FINANCES: HACAP is working to coordinate individuals grants as they are available for people. Please visit: https://disaster.hacap.org or email: [email protected] or call: 319-739-0056
  • WEB SITE: for a spreadsheet of available resources please visit: https://www.linndisasterinfo.com/storm

FAITH BASED ORGANIZATIONS:

  • MERCY CHEFS: This amazing group has been providing over 5,000 meals a day. They have capacity to go up to 14,000 but they need volunteers. They are located at the ROC CENTER – 1202 Tenth St SE. They are serving from 11-1 & 4-6 daily. Please email: [email protected]
  • 8 DAYS OF HOPE: This group was a valuable resource during the flood. They will be active here until September 5. They are based at St. Marks Lutheran Church and have some capacity to help remove trees from homes. For information on how your people can join them please visit: https://eightdaysofhope.com/media/78298/cedar-rapidsia-faqs.pdf and they can sign up at: https://eightdaysofhope.com/registration?ev=32.
  • SAMARITAN’S PURSE: They are located at Hillside Wesleyan & New Covenant. They are active in our low-income areas and need volunteers to help. Please visit: https://spvolunteer.org/project-response/276 or call: 828-588-5711. If you have people who need assistance, they can call their Homeowners Hotline: 319-270-5179.
  • CONVOY OF HOPE: Convoy has brought a large supply of products and a team to the ROC Center. They are wanting to bring back additional supplies and food, however, they will need a local church partner who can receive pallets and organize volunteers to sort and give out supplies. CR First Assembly usually works with them, however, due to the condition of their building this is not possible. If you are interested in being a host location, please contact: 612-600-8735 (Brian Pingel – CR First)
  • OPERATION BLESSING: Is delivering a large load of supplies to Cedar Rapids today. They will be adding it to the cities warehouse for supplies. All large volunteer organizations can “shop” at the warehouse located at 4200 C St. SW.
  • GOD’S PIT CREW: Has been sending generators to our community.
  • ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: If you are aware of other national organizations bringing resources into the community please contact Brian Pingel – 612-600-8735 or [email protected] so we can make sure they are tied into the communities overall resource team.

REBUILDING: Work is being done to help coordinate efforts among many to help with tree removal off of homes and the rebuilding process. If you are aware of coordinated efforts for electricians or roofers, email the information to [email protected] and it will be forwarded to the city team once they are firmly established.

FUNDRAISING: Many people with good intentions are setting up individual fundraising efforts. As you
all know, this can more damaging than helpful (taxation, legal fines, etc.). Please encourage people to give through your local church, the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or the United Way: https://uweci.org/disasterfund

As always, it is a privilege to watch the people of God rise up and share God’s love in the times of great need. This morning I received this from the director of United Way: “This morning on the radio I heard Lauren Daigle’s “I Will Rescue You” and the lyric, “I will send out an army to find you in the middle of the darkest night. It’s true, I will rescue you.” hit me really hard. Whether its Convoy of Hope, 8 Days of Hope, Mercy Chefs, or any of the other dozen faith-based groups in town…they are God’s Army in the middle of our (literally) darkest night. It’s not lost on us.”