In the wake of devastation, comes the opportunity for compassionate giving.
Tropical Depression Florence struck the Carolina coast on September 14, 2018. Having been downgraded from its earlier Category 4 status, the storm moved at a snail’s pace, hovering along the coast. The combined rainfall, 2-4 mile-per-hour trajectory, and storm surge caused massive flooding in coastal regions of both North and South Carolina. Widespread heavy rains and flash flooding devastated South Carolina’s Dillon, Marion, and Marlboro Counties.
The South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church mobilized Early Response Teams (ERTs) to assist with flood damage and storm recovery.
The Trenholm Road United Methodist Church family came to the Conference’s aid with a surge of compassion. In a matching gift program, the TRUMC Foundation led the effort that raised relief contributions.
On October 12, 2018, TRUMC Foundation Board Chairman Robbie Bowers delivered a check for $28,373 to the UMC Conference bringing the total contribution from TRUMC to $37,803.
“What a glorious response from our congregation and a huge success for the Foundation’s first-ever matching gift program that I am aware of,” Mr. Bowers said.
With over 2000 homes suffering from storm damage and 4000 South Carolinians registering with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florence left devastation in her wake. Trinity United Methodist Church in Conway, South Carolina, was among the frequently-seen pictures in national news coverage.
“Our church is truly blessed to have so many people contribute,” said Beth Estes, Trenholm Road member and board member for the TRUMC Foundation.
The TRUMC Foundation was created to provide financial aid for education, music programs, mission work, and other relief efforts that fall outside of the TRUMC normal operating budget and gift giving. In situations like the recent floods and aftermath, the TRUMC Foundation is uniquely positioned to amplify the congregation’s generosity.
“The Foundation can be really proud of what was raised as part of our match. It is also a major accomplishment for the church congregation. We should all be proud,” added Dave Fary, Board Member.
The SC Conference of the United Methodist Church organized efforts to assist Trinity UMC and other faith communities affected by Florence. At least seven churches in the Marion region asked the South Carolina UMC conference for help and districts across the state responded. Volunteers organized as part of those ERTs and individuals received onsite services in recovery efforts. For more on the Conference efforts, click here.
As Columbia residents know, flood damage is an ongoing challenge. Areas of our region are still recovering from the 2015 flood. The financial and spiritual support needed in those coastal areas will persist. As a Foundation and a congregation, TRUMC met the call for assistance with generosity. May the grace of God continue to be upon those suffering in the aftermath of the storm.
For more information on the United Methodist Committee on Relief, click here.