Credit: Mark Ludak

After leaving Louisiana, Hurricane Ida raged up the East Coast, powering through parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York on the night of September 1. We continue to pray for the safety and well-being of those impacted by the powerful storm. Here in New Jersey, several tornados touched down, houses and church buildings were flooded, 27 people died and many have had to leave their homes.

We have been assessing damage to communities and church buildings, and it is more extensive than we originally thought. A leadership meeting was held and GNJ and A Future With Hope will be teaming up again to assist in the relief and recovery work here in GNJ. This will include volunteer recruitment and assignment, case management, repair management and fundraising. While the amount of damage is not the same as Superstorm Sandy, the effects on those Ida did affect is the same.

AFWH, our partner in mission, started by GNJ after Superstorm Sandy, will provide the oversight of the relief and recovery with the support and assistance of the people from GNJ and across the nation. Right now we need your help by donating to the GNJ relief and recovery to assist our churches and the people of our communities. One hundred percent of your contribution will go to the relief effort. Selecting the donate button above will make a difference. When making your donation, please specify “Ida Relief,” so that we ensure that all proceeds go to this effort.

Job Opportunity

A Future With Hope is looking to hire a Disaster Response Coordinator to facilitate this effort. More details can be found here.

NEW Volunteer training starts Sept. 28!

When a tornado touched down in the small town of Mullica Hill earlier this month, GNJers rallied together to help pick up the pieces. When flooding washed away years of rebuilding in Bound Brook, GNJers rolled up their sleeves and pitched in on the muck out. Many of those same churches and communities as well as others, who were impacted by Ida are still suffering and needing our help. As GNJ’s Disaster Response team continues moving forward with the relief effort, it has become apparent that there is a great need for more volunteers.

Wondering how you can help and where to start?

Then please join us for a two-hour Zoom training session! “Just in Time” training is modeled after the UMCOR Early Response Team (ERT) training curriculum and facilitated by UMCOR approved trainers. It is designed to provide tips and techniques to move out as teams, clean out flooded homes, while at the same time, follow our Christian faith and doctrine to “do no harm.” This training is backed by the GNJ, and teams will be organized by disaster coordinators.

We have scheduled two virtual training sessions. Choose one below:

  • Tuesday, Sept. 28 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. Join Zoom meeting here:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84673587946?pwd=UVQra1FvWVhhRTFaS0dVQTM3RStMZz09Meeting ID: 846 7358 7946
    Passcode: 575602
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    +19292056099,,84673587946#,,,,*575602# US (New York)
    +13017158592,,84673587946#,,,,*575602# US (Washington DC)Dial by your location
    +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
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    Meeting ID: 846 7358 7946
    Passcode: 575602
    Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keFwbnzPC4
  • Saturday, Oct. 2 from 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Join Zoom here: Meeting Registration – Zoom

Additional sessions are being planned for every Saturday in November. Early Response Team members have an opportunity to be a caring Christian presence to a hurting community.

We are grateful for your support during this critical time. Over the past three weeks, you have proven that together we can make a difference in helping our neighbors recover and thrive.

If you have any questions, please contact GNJ Disaster Response Coordinator, Rev. Tom Lank at disasterresponse@gnjumc.org.

Thank you!

NEW: Volunteers Needed!

Early Response Team members have an opportunity to be a caring Christian presence to a hurting community. As New Jersey cleans up after Hurricane Ida, we want to connect with as many trained and non-trained ERT folks as possible. Please take a moment to complete the survey below. This information will help GNJ identify how it can support the needs of impacted communities.

Please fill out a volunteer survey here.

Your volunteer hours can be entered here.

NEW: Cleaning Buckets Needed!

When floodwaters were quickly rising and tornadoes were thrashing homes earlier this month as Ida swept through the Northeast, volunteers across Greater New Jersey were gearing up to be there for those in need, whether that meant mucking out buildings or providing them with resources like temporary housing, food sources, dry clothes and financial assistance. The outpouring of support and ecumenical collaboration from our local churches and nonprofit organizations has been amazing.

As GNJ’s Disaster Response team continues moving forward with the relief effort, it has become apparent that there is a great need for more cleaning buckets. 

If you are able to contribute to this effort, we strongly encourage you to follow the instructions on how to make a cleaning bucket here. Also, Good Shepherd UMC, one of the HUBs, has offered to train churches. 

Once complete, the assembled cleaning kits can be delivered to any of our three Disaster Relief Supply Hubs in GNJ, as designated  by Mission Central: Andover UMC in Newton, New Dover UMC in Edison and Good Shepherd UMC in Northfield. If you are unable to deliver your kits, we are working on arrangements for them to be picked up. If you have any questions, please contact Nicole Troast, a pastor at Good Shepherd UMC, at Ntroast@goodshepherdumc.com or (609) 641-3219. We are grateful for your support during this critical time. Over the past two weeks, you have proven that together we can make a difference.

Additional Resources

  • nj.gov/ida – You can register with FEMA and report damage here.
  • 844-965-1386 – This is the Crisis Cleanup hotline.  GNJ is registering with Crisis Cleanup to be notified of unmet muck & gut needs. Our church and community members can also report their needs through this avenue.
  • helpnjnow.org – This is a donations platform jointly administered by VOAD and the State of New Jersey.  If churches have in-kind or material donations that they don’t know what to do with, they can be offered here. It serves as a “virtual warehouse” of donations.
  • Disaster Distress Helpline: The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people who are experiencing emotional distress related to any natural or human-caused disaster.
  • NJ Economic Development Authority is offering grants up to $5,000 for rent or mortgage payments for nonprofits that had damage due to Hurricane Henri and/or Ida. More info.
  • Human Services Announces Hot Food and Replacement Benefits Assistance for SNAP Recipients Living in Essex, Hudson, Mercer Morris & Union Counties. Details.
  • NJ residents may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance. Learn more.

Ida's Impact