Relief Efforts in the Northern California Conference ( Please consider giving now to the Disaster Relief Fund. )
Churches, ministries, and individuals throughout the NCC – and beyond – are stepping forward to offer their support to church members driven from their homes by the four large fires in Northern California. “The NCC is not an office building in Roseville; it’s the 41,000 members spread throughout our territory,” said President Marc Woodson. “We are an interconnected family, so when disaster strikes, it impacts all of us.”
A week before the recent fire outbreak, NCC administrators approved the establishment of a Disaster Relief Fund for members and a Disaster Response Team.
The fund started receiving donations on Sunday. Thanks to many donors from around California, it is currently at $3,700. We have already distributed $700 to seven families, who were identified by the pastors in the Napa Valley area. As of yesterday, St. Helena was placed under an evacuation warning, so the number of families needing immediate assistance will increase.
Because the Disaster Response Team is still in the early stages, not all team members have been identified, but so far the team includes the communication and development director, the risk management director, and the Adventist Community Services director. Adventist Laymen’s Services & Industries (ASI) Pacific Union President Patti Guthrie is serving as an advisor.
“We want to choose an additional two or three members who will help create the disaster response plan for the NCC,” said Laurie Trujillo, communication and development director, who was forced to evacuate from her home earlier this week.
The team is already working hard to make plans during the current crisis. “It’s like constructing the plane while it’s flying,” she said.
Trujillo, a member of the Disaster Response Team, has been implementing a number of relief efforts for those displaced by the Glass Fire, including:
- Willie Johnson, African American ministries coordinator/urban ministries director, is working with his churches that have clothing banks to prepare and sort clothes. Napa area evacuees will be able to drive through and pick up bags of clothes sorted by size and gender.
- Five families received $500 from the NCC Membership Assistance Fund.
- The Carmichael church, led by Senior Pastor Keith Jacobson, is using their expertise and resources to obtain food staples that Napa area churches can use to prepare hot meals for evacuated members.
- The Veg Hub restaurant, a support ministry of the NCC, has offered to provide a nutritious lunch for evacuated church members.
- During the recovery phase of this tragedy, our ABC is offering a significant discount on books to help replace those that have been lost in the fire. The store will also be offering a way to donate to the Disaster Relief Fund when a customer purchases merchandise.
- Pastors in the Napa Valley area are working together to help church members, Pacific Union College students, and others. “We are all just trying to stay connected with each other, while staying connected with our members,” said The Haven church Pastor Josie Asencio. “We know that this isn’t a ‘me’ thing; this is an ‘us’ thing.”