By Lorraine & Mike Eyer, UMVIM Coordinators for DSC
UMC Disaster Response leaders from UMCOR and across the Western Jurisdiction recently conferred with staff from the Yellowstone Annual Conference regarding a crisis on the Blackfeet Reservation In Montana.
The Blackfeet Reservation, bordering Canada on the north and Glacier National Park on the west, has experienced far harsher than normal winter conditions, with more than 12 feet of snow (6 feet thus far in February), subzero temperatures, and high winds. Families and communities on the 3,000 square miles (50 miles by 60 miles, more or less) are isolated and unable to obtain food, firewood, propane, and other supplies. Another blizzard is forecast for next week.
UMCOR arranged for delivery of 6 semi trucks of firewood, but the situation is dire. USAToday recently highlighted the leadership and efforts of UMCOR, the Yellowstone Annual Conference, and local UMC leaders.
The greatest sources of the materials that are needed currently are local (it makes no sense to ship food or firewood from Arizona or Nevada) but your congregation and community can assist in the following ways:
- Pray for the people and families affected by this crisis and the people that serve in rescue capacities
- Donations can be made to the Yellowstone Conference Disaster Fund at https://yellowstone-reg.brtapp.com/MakeaDonation.
- Flooding is anticipated as the snow melts, along with a need for structural repairs in coming months. Get trained now as a UMVIM leader to coordinate a volunteer mission team from your community.