Flood relief volunteers needed

July 25, 2011

SpiritBlog

Volunteers worked last month to repair a levee that was protecting the Church of St. Therese, the Little Flower, in Minot, N.D., as floodwater from the Souris River spilled over levees and dikes. The river peaked at slightly more than 1,561 feet above sea level, 4 feet above the record level it reached in 1881. (CNS photo/Allen Fredrickson, Reuters)

Catholic United Response is seeking volunteers for flood relief efforts in Minot, N.D., starting July 29. Those interested can register on the official Minot city volunteers website and should indicate they will be working with Catholic United Financial.

Catholic United Response is a disaster relief effort of the Catholic United Financial Foundation in St. Paul. The organization helped with relief efforts in North Minneapolis following the tornado that struck there May 22.

Thousands of Minot homes were destroyed or damaged last month when the Souris River flooded. Executive director Paul Naumann sent out this notice late last week:

“The most recent communication we received from the coordinators at Lutheran Disaster Response says they are working with the Minot city emergency manager to establish a process for assisting homeowners with clean up. If you intend to go to Minot, please register at their online site and indicate you want to work with Catholic United Response.

“If you are planning to go, please send me an email with your contact information so I can let you know where we will be. In most circumstances you will be directed to a central site in Minot. From there you will be assigned a volunteer job and site location. We probably will be at the central site every morning for our assignments so we will be easy to find.

“My plan is to send an email to those who are planning to volunteer notifying you how to reach me in Minot. We are planning to deploy next Wednesday, July 27 to Minot and spend a minimum of two weeks and then reassess how much additional time is needed. We have rented a travel trailer that will accommodate up to 6-7 people for sleeping if necessary. (Alternative housing for volunteers will likely be provided.)

“My best estimate of when we will be ready for action would be Friday the 29th or Saturday the 30th at the earliest. It will take a couple of days for us to get coordinated with the emergency managers and get a list of sites to start working on. If we get started earlier, it will be with local volunteers. I have spoken with Father Fred Harvey at the Little Flower Parish in Minot and he said many people are still without power and/or water at this time. There is plenty of work to be done, but prayers as we all know are most powerful.

“Please keep those who suffered losses and those who are working and volunteering in your prayers.”

Updates can be found on the Catholic United Response website: http://www.united-we-help.org, or sign up to receive regular updates through email about deployments.

 

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About Joe Towalski

Editor of The Catholic Spirit, husband, dad, baseball fan(atic), astronomy buff. Follow me on Twitter @towalskij

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