(PNS) In the aftermath of damage caused by Hurricane Michael, two funds have been established through the Presbyterian Foundation for donors to contribute toward presbytery-led relief efforts. The hurricane hit Florida’s panhandle on October 10 as a Category 4 storm and cut a broad swath of destruction as it moved across the Southeast. Current estimates are that the storm caused more than $6 billion in damage and claimed at least 50 lives.
The Presbytery of Florida and Flint River Presbytery are currently assessing damages in their respective regions and working with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), the Presbyterian Board of Pensions and the Presbyterian Foundation to find ways to mitigate property losses and restore lives.
The Rev. Dr. Roy Martin, general presbyter of the Presbytery of Florida, described the damage caused by the hurricane and its associated tornadoes in graphic terms. “If you were to fly over Lynn Haven [Florida] you would say, if you know your history, it’s like a bombed-out Dresden in 1940.”
‘Circle of gratitude’
Calling the way Presbyterians respond to needs in the wider church a “circle of gratitude,” Martin is thankful for the connectional nature of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the many offers of assistance already received, adding that short-term needs in the region are primarily financial. You can donate to disaster relief in the Presbytery of Florida here and donate to disaster relief in Flint River Presbytery here.
“PDA is here with us for the long haul,” he said. “Their National Response Team members are here to be with as many congregations as possible in worship this weekend. We’ll formulate a long-term plan, but if people want to donate money to the Foundation’s funds, that would be the best way to help because it enables us to determine where the resources are most needed and distribute them.”