Help needed for Okanogan Rebuild: Up From the Ashes

By Ronda Cordill

NEWS_Rebuild_FireEach day as we watch the news, we see pictures of all of the disasters and victims occurring globally and our hearts wonder what we can do to help. But Washington State has its own disasters with its victims. Now that the cameras are gone, have we forgotten that there are victims still struggling after the Wildfires of 2014 and 2015 in the Okanogan Valley? Have we forgotten that people have been without a home for two years and may have to wait another year for a permanent place to live? Have we forgotten that families are living in tiny travel trailers, in small sheds meant for tools, or with other family and friends in cramped houses? Life for the victims of these fires is extremely stressful and difficult. Some are giving up hope. We must remember the Okanogan Wildfire and its victims. We must answer the call to HELP.

There are two ways you can HELP:

    • Each District has been challenged to fund one new house in the Okanogan Valley. It takes an average of $90,000 in materials, permits, and site work to build a fire-wise home from the foundation up. The houses are for those with no insurance or resources to rebuild their home. Send an UMVIM ‘Rebuild’ team to help with the construction of that house. Some construction skills are desired but there are jobs for the unskilled to learn and help. We can send money but it is also the manpower that is needed to help rebuild these homes.
  • Talk to your Lay Leader about how you can help with the fundraising. Have your church set a goal. Your church may be able to raise $2500 – which could be used for doors and windows while another church can raise $200 for some of the plumbing. No gift is too small and all gifts will be applied to the next most urgently needed item. Answer the ‘Call for Help’ by forming or serving on a Volunteers in Mission Team. You can work for a day or a week. As the Phase II progresses and as houses are framed, teams will be needed primarily for interior work. If you would like to learn more about serving on a VIM team contact Ronda Cordill at or Jim Truitt at

Now, let’s go help some people!

Ronda Cordill serves as the co-coordinator for
the PNW’s United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM)



Photo courtesy of The Central Texas Conference.  For more info visit their site.

Early Response Teams needed in Texas

By Kathy Bryson

The Central Texas United Methodist Conference is in need of trained Early Response Teams from other conferences and jurisdictions to help with flood damaged homes in their area. More than 300 homes have been impacted with the number still rising. The majority of the damage has come from an unprecedented amount of torrential rainfall that affected a wide swath of Eastland and Hood counties, including areas that have never before flooded according to available records.

ERTs are currently working in the city of Granbury, located just southwest of Fort Worth, and will also be looking for assistance in Cisco, located two hours west of Fort Worth, in the near future. Housing, cooking facilities, showers and tools are available. The PNWUMC is considering fielding an ERT with enough response or partnering with other conference teams. If you are interested in this mission or have questions please contact Kathy Bryson at Please include your availability over the next several months.

Kathy Bryson serves as the new Early Response Team Coordinator for the PNWUMC.

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