Hurricane Recovery Fund and Resources
In the wake of Hurricane Irma—the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded—the Caribbean and much of Florida has experienced significant damage. A week after the storm, some communities are still without power; in Key West it's estimated that 25% of all housing has been destroyed. The grounds of the UU Congregation of Greater Naples served as a FEMA staging area in the days following Irma.
We know that long after the initial clean-up, real recovery can take months or years. The UUA has established a Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund to assist congregations, including in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in repairing any damage, and to respond to the needs of their members' and their community's efforts to get back on its feet.
As the Caribbean and coastal U.S. continues to be threatened by additional storms, your donations will allow the UUA to respond flexibly as new situations arise.
Donate to the Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund | Funds raised to date: $42,000+
To donate by mail, please make check payable to the UUA with "Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund" on the memo line, and send to UUA Gift Processing, 24 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA 02210.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall with devastating impacts to an area of the United States that millions call home. Much of Texas and the Gulf Coast region is still coping with the flooding and damage Harvey wrought. We are holding all of those affected in our hearts and prayers. To be of service to the communities to which we are connected, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) have created a joint recovery fund.
Half of all Hurricane Harvey funds raised will go to at-risk populations served by UUSC partners and the other half of the funds will support Unitarian Universalist congregations and members of those congregations most affected by the storm. We understand that devastation from Harvey is widespread and we hope that by joining together in areas where we have expertise and deep connection, we can make the greatest impact.
Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund | Funds raised to date: $350,000+
We are deeply grateful to the 2,000+ individual donors, as well as more than 75 UU congregations who have collectively contributed in excess of $350,000 to the Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund. Our friends and neighbors in Florida and the Caribbean have experienced similar devastation following Hurricane Irma and need as much, or even greater, assistance. We invite you to contribute to the Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund.
How Will Donations Be Disbursed?
UUA staff is working closely with leaders in the UUA’s Southern Region to learn where the need is greatest and to distribute recovery funds efficiently. We are grateful for the generous support this fund has already received and we continue to process new gifts daily.
UU congregations in the regions affected, as well as recognized UU entities involved in recovery efforts are eligible to apply for recovery fund grants. Congregations receiving hurricane recovery funds will have discretion to provide financial assistance to families directly affected by these storms.
In the aftermath of Harvey, UUSC is working to support the needs of at-risk populations who may not be able to access relief services. Among those is RAICES (Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services), a long-time UUSC partner, that is aiming to ensure immigrant communities—documented and undocumented—know their rights and have access to legal services. UUSC is in the process of identifying other grassroots community organizations on the ground in Texas who can support the needs of those traditionally left out of mainstream response efforts.
The Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice is organizing volunteers to help with disaster relief efforts associated with Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey. If you would like to volunteer, please fill out their online form and someone will be in touch with you.
Resources for Coping and Trauma Response
If you or a loved one personally experienced trauma during the Hurricane or as a result of the storm’s impact, the UUA may be able to help. Please contact the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry at their toll free number: (888) 760-3332.
In addition to the individuals, families, and communities that are still coping with the direct effects of Harvey, we know that people and families indirectly impacted also need our support. The UUA has resources for congregations, individuals, and families who have experienced a disaster or other traumatic event. Learn more about:
- Handling Trauma in the Aftermath of a Disaster
- Supporting Children in the Face of Disaster or Trauma
- Natural Disaster Responses
- Planning for Disasters for the Congregation and Building
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