It's the time of year when many town-wide clean-up days. Our churches will often gather a team of folks to pitch in to clear away winter debris. In a similar manner, when there is a disastrous event in your area and local homes are affected, your church can help clean up.
CrisisCleanup.org is a website that acts as a clearinghouse, listing local homeowners that need assistance mucking out basements, cleaning debris, or cleaning up after fire damage. The mission of CrisisCleanup.org is “to help voluntary relief organizations help more people by enabling collaborative disaster recovery”.
In the wake of severe storms, flooding, or tornadoes, local municipalities may set up Community Resource Centers where homeowners can speak with agencies that can offer assistance. In Massachusetts, residents can also call 2-1-1. In many cases, with the homeowner's permission, the case will be listed on Crisis Cleanup for a church or other organization to claim. Once claimed, the church works directly with the homeowner.
Churches and nonprofits can sign up for a Crisis Cleanup account which allows them access to see the exact street addresses (plotted on a map) where help is needed and the specific type of help requested. Additional details such as whether the homeowner is elderly, the residence type, whether there are stairs, the types of debris that may need to be removed, and other pertinent details make it easy to determine which location will be the best fit for your church.
CrisisCleanup.org offers churches a way to offer recovery assistance in the immediate aftermath of an event. Your MAUCC Disaster Resource and Response Team invites you to go to CrisisCleanup.org to register for an account to help neighbors in need. You are encouraged to confirm liability insurance for any work of this nature with your church insurance company.
For information about disaster preparedness and response, please visit our website at MACUCC.org/DisasterResource.
Rev. Estelle Margarones is co-chair of the MACUCC Disaster Resource & Response Team
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