Hurricane Ian Relief

Hurricane Ian is said to be the worst hurricane to hit Florida since 1935, with Fort Myers being one of the hardest hit areas. For that reason we are working with Charis Crisis Response to send groups of people down to remove debrief and begin to rebuild homes. Through these efforts and the ongoing work of the local church, we hope to show compassion and love to those affected by this disaster. 

 

Charis Crisis Response has identified two local churches and several surrounding neighborhoods that could use assistance and that will be where we focus our efforts. If you can go please fill out the form below letting us know of your interest. If you can’t go but want to contribute financially to rebuilding homes and business please use the donate button below. And always, we ask for your prayers for the individuals and families affected by this, to experience the love of Jesus through the care and compassion of the church.

 

We know that natural disasters will occur and we want to be prepared to send resources as soon as possible.

Pray.  Pray that this inspires compassion and that this will be the loudest noise amidst the chaos. That the love of God would ensure people that in spite of the craziness, He cares for them and offers hope!

Give. You can donate to any organization you trust to get the funds where they need to go. We have a fund set up that will be used to send supplies with teams, fund needed on the ground initiatives, or rebuild essential structures over the rebuild and development phases. If any monies are given to this cause that go above and beyond our direct efforts, we will donate the remainder of the funds to organizations with which we are most proud to associate.

Go. We will send teams as the needs arise, as soon as 2-3 weeks after a natural disaster has occurred. We have a great relationship with a Crisis Relief Organization working with key churches in the area. Between these connections, we will look for the most effective places to deploy interested volunteers. We will either organize teams, offer options with trusted partner organizations, or both! To be placed on a list of interested people for a Disaster Relief GO Team please use this form.

 

 

Donate. We are accepting donations of cash or gift cards to help families with supplies and the rebuilding process. You may drop off gift cards to the info desk or place in the offering baskets and label it “crisis response.” As new physical needs come to us we will update the needs list.

  • Lowes or Home Depot gift cards
  • Visa gift cards
  • Target/Walmart gift cards

If you would prefer to give to the financial needs of the response efforts you may leave the funds clearly labeled “crisis response” at the info desk or mail to 211 N Cleveland Massillon Rd. Akron OH 44333. You can also donate online using the link below.

At Grace, we want to help with crisis response efforts, intentionally support the rebuilding process, and do what we can to understand the uniqueness of each phase of crisis response.  If we can collectively help bring restoration, then we will gladly engage that opportunity to tangibly bring the hope of Christ to a community in need through the sending of teams and financial support.

If you have any additional questions please email Sarah Yajko at syajko@graceohio.org or call the church office at 330.666.8341.

FAQ
What kind of work will I be doing?

There are 3 stages of crisis response. Our teams will generally begin at stage two. The second stage is the construction phase in which teams will be clearing out houses, tearing out drywall, and preparing the homes and land for reconstruction. The third stage is development in which homes will begin to be repaired. Anybody who is willing to serve is welcome on stage 2 teams. Anybody is welcome to serve on stage 3 teams as well but there will need to be several individuals with construction knowledge on those teams to lead. If you would like to be a part of a team but are not able to do hard physical work, there are still many ways that you can serve on a team.

Is there an age requirement?

We would recommend middle school and older if accompanied by a parent. We leave the exact age up to the discretion of the parent and what they feel their child can handle. If a student wants to travel without a parent, they must be 18 years old or older.

What to expect once a crisis hits...

We will work with churches/organizations on the ground to find the best place and group to partner with. Once we know where and how we can best serve we will assign a team leader and gather the team roster. That team will have 1-2 team meetings before leaving for the week long trip. We have found that the best time to physically respond to a crisis is 2-4 weeks.

Do I need to bring my own tools?

In most cases tools will be provided on site, but this will be a case by case decision based on the resources of our partner. We will do our best to make sure that each team is equipped with a set of tools during their week. You will need to be prepared to bring your own work gloves, work boots, and safety glasses. If you choose to bring your own tools please make sure they are clearly marked with your name.

What will the trip cost?

This varies depending on whether a flight is needed and whether our partner provides housing. It is recommended to plan on $100-$300 (food and lodging) and then more if a flight is required. If you are carpooling or driving yourself, please be prepared to assist in paying for gas. We do our best to prepare each team of the expenses ahead of time but due to the nature of the work other expenses may come up unexpectedly.

What can I expect a day to look like?

This is what a day will look like generally but as in all mission trips, flexibility is the key word. We are all there to serve the needs of the local community and those might change from day to day.

  • Early Morning Breakfast and Devotions
  • 8 a.m. – Depart for work site
  • Lunch at work site
  • 4:30 pm – Return to church to clean up
  • Dinner and share time
  • Free Time
What should I pack?

We recommend* that you bring the following items:

  • Bible
  • appropriate work clothing/work gloves/safety glasses
  • appropriate twin-size bedding
  • towel/shower shoes/toiletries
  • mobile phone/camera
  • insect repellent/sunscreen
  • small flashlight

*This list does not include additional personal items or project-specific items to consider.

Are there any requirements before the trip?

A background check might be required depending on our local partner. You will need to plan for at least one, possibly two team meetings before you go to help prepare you to be on the team and allow you to meet your teammates.

What is Encompass Crisis Response?

We have formed a partnership with Encompass Crisis Response which is a part of the Charis Fellowship of Churches to respond to crisis’ in the United States. You can find more information about Encompass Crisis Reponse at http://encompasscrisisresponse.org/. Occasionally there will be a need to partner with another crisis organization and we will do that as needed.

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