Monday, June 23, 2008

Flood Relief Information

It has been a whirlwind of a week with scores of meetings and numerous projects related to area flooding. On top of this the church staff team is attempting to keep most of our ministry programming operational. I am receiving anywhere from 4-5 contacts a day of churches in our multi-state region ready to send teams and materials to our area. This has been such an encouragement to us and will be a tremendous blessing to our community. The following is information specifically directed toward churches and organizations interested in getting involved in our local flood relief efforts.

PARKVIEW FACILITY LABOR

We are working as quickly as possible to get our church facility completely opened up by removing all furniture, fixtures, flooring, dry wall and insulation. After looking at the facility this afternoon, with decent participation it appears that the building may be completely opened up for drying in the next two days. Mounds of trash have accumulated in our parking area, but loaders will hopefully remove most of that in the upcoming days and weeks.

Once the church is drying we will have a little less urgency in our schedule, but will still have weeks of work to do including things like power washing parking lots and exterior walls, cleaning up landscaping, etc. Of course, once the building is dry, we will begin the reconstruction process. This may open up opportunities for skilled volunteer labor, but we will also likely involve professional contractors at some level.

COMMUNITY LABOR

Tomorrow I have a meeting with the pastoral organization that is trying to coordinate and align numerous aspects of the flood relief effort. Between that organization and the interaction I am having directly with the city, I am expecting there will be plenty of opportunities for outside groups to come in and make a big difference within our community.

If you are a group interested in coming in to help, please contact my Administrative Assistant, Lisa Hollan (lhollan@parkviewchurch.org), right away. Over the next two days she will be forming a database of churches and organizations interested in helping. Those of you who have been in contact with me over the last few days will be added to that list.

When contacting Lisa we need to know:
  • When you are expecting to arrive
  • Duration of your stay
  • How many people you will be bringing
  • What kind of work you will be prepared to do
  • What kind of tools and resources you will have at your disposal
  • What kind of needs you will have in terms of food, lodging, etc.
We will do all we can to house volunteers coming, but may have limited resources depending on the overlap of visiting groups. Also, in most cases, we will not be providing on-the-job leaders for your teams, so it would be best for you to have one or more qualified leader(s) who can help direct your team(s) when they are on location throughout the city.

FINANCIAL and CLOTHING DONATIONS

Some churches and organizations have asked about other ways they can help. Here are some of those alternatives:
  • Financial donations to Parkview Church designated “Flood Relief” is one strategic way you can give. The pavilion at our facility has been and will continue to be a staging area for flood relief teams. At this location we are feeding people, providing dust masks, coordinating efforts, tools for labor, etc… Donations to Parkview’s flood relief fund will help subsidize related expenses to this staging area and fund additional expenses incurred by our sandbagging and demolition efforts.
  • Financial donations to the Johnson County United Way are being utilized for the area flood relief efforts. We have been assured that designated funds are being used solely for the purpose of helping those in need due to flooding in our specific area.
  • Clothing donations are being managed by the area Salvation Army. It is my understanding that these donations are being utilized to help the efforts both in the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids area.
I believe this is all the information I have for now. I will be updating this link or adding new links as information comes in. Please be patient as we are a bit bottlenecked with all that is going on. Also, you can now reach me at my Parkview email address if you have additional questions, though I would recommend contacting Lisa first because she will likely provide a quicker response.

2 comments:

John J said...

Was wondering about mentioning donations to Red Cross? Seeing that I had read their disaster relief funds were depleted and they were borrowing to fund midwest efforts? (http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hMJ81LncZ0pZyI7ll954BwZowU6QD91BFMT00)

Aren't many Christians not in favor of supporting the United Way? Just wondering that you had United Way listed and not Red Cross. Obviously I'm sure you have this figured out since you've been meeting with officials, but for the sake of people that might wonder.

- J

Scott Sterner said...

John, Good comments/questions. The United Way has not remained neutral in several issues of controversy, consequently, we would typically not align ourselves with the organization. The reason I mentioned them here is because they are the official organization the city is working with and all funds donated (so I've been told) will go directly to flood relief in Johnson County, so there is little risk that donations will be used for issues and agendas that are in disagreement with Christian values.

I was not aware of the issues in regard to the Red Cross. To my knowledge, it is certainly a good organization deserving help.