Partners in Recovery: UMCOR Celebrates the Work of A Future With Hope

April 3, 2019 | | GNJ News, A Future With Hope

NEPTUNE – After more than six years of active partnership with A Future With Hope (AFWH), the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has recognized the meaningful work accomplished by United Methodists in Greater New Jersey by approving and commending the final grant report and agreement.

UMCOR provided A Future with Hope a grant of $3,107,632, which helped establish the organization and Greater New Jersey as a leader in Sandy recovery in the state.

In a closing report dated March 3, 21019, Scott Tibbetts, U.S. Disaster Response Program Manager for UMCOR said, “This extensive project successfully met the established goals through case management, direct assistance, volunteer management and home repairs.”

The grant which was a significant portion of the total $17,000,000 raised for AFWH, allowed United Methodists to fund construction and case management staff, building materials and equipment and emergency relief support for basic human needs.

Tibbets shared his appreciation, “We wish to express our sincerest gratitude for your continued partnership and we are proud to be of support to the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church in times of disaster and look forward to continuing our relationship.”

When the final grant reports were filed in 2018, Bobbie Ridgely, who served as the Director of A Future With Hope for five years during Sandy recovery reported, “On behalf of A Future With Hope, Greater New Jersey and Sandy survivors across the state, thank you for your generous support. Your support has provided longevity to our program that only a few organizations have been able to maintain. Thank you for understanding that long-term recovery is indeed a marathon and not a sprint.”

A Future With Hope is a vital mission partner of GNJ and serves as the mission arm of the organization.  Formed in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, AFWH has the following vision: Hope emerges where residents, business, organizations, government and institutions work together to heal communities.

During the relief phase in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, AFWH:

  • Provided more than 50,000 meals
  • Provided day and night shelter for more than 5,000 people
  • Distributed more than 11,000 cleaning buckets, more than 3,000 health kits, tons of clothing and other material supplies such as non-perishable food, heaters, blankets, etc.
  • Assessed community needs and “mucked” out nearly 2,000 homes

During the recovery phase of Superstorm Sandy, AFWH:

  • Rebuilt or repaired 273 homes
  • Provided case management for 461 families
  • Hosted 12,173 volunteers from 46 states and two countries for a labor value of $8,095,413
  • Received more than $17 million in funding

“Our work in Sandy recovery could not have been completed without the vital partnership with UMCOR.  Our success in rebuilding and renewing hope is truly a reflection of the connection of United Methodists,” said Rick Reinhard, the newly appointed Executive Director of A Future With Hope. He continued, “Today, we are focused on community renewal with an asset-based community development ministry. We look forward to establishing partnership with funders, like UMCOR, who have a shared vision.”

AFWH has three main areas of focus moving forward: engaging and training congregations, developing Hope Centers and leading community economic development.

“The timing of UMCOR’s grant closing memo could not be more appropriate,” said Andrea Wren Hardin, a Hope Center Developer. “Sunday, March 31 was UMCOR Sunday and United Methodists across Greater New Jersey had the opportunity to be thankful and generous. UMCOR’s support of A Future With Hope means that we are UMCOR.”

UMCOR is the international relief organization of United Methodists and assists in direct ministry to persons in need through programs of relief, rehabilitation, and service, including issues of displaced persons, hunger and poverty, disaster response, and disaster risk reduction.