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New fund enhances UMCOR disaster response training

New fund enhances UMCOR disaster response training

Disaster Recovery

Seeking to support the life-changing work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), an anonymous benefactor has pledged over the next ten years the income from a $5 million asset to support the training of UMCOR’s volunteers.

The gift will create the John Wesley Fund for U.S. Disaster Response and enhance UMCOR’s efforts to respond quickly and thoroughly to future U.S. disasters.
“UMCOR responds to disasters in a holistic manner that recognizes the ways survivors and volunteers can be creative partners in recovery,” said Cathy Earl, UMCOR director of U.S. Disaster Response.

"The creation of (the fund) will enable us to prepare even more volunteers to interact with vulnerable survivors with hope and healing in difficult circumstances.”
Known for being "early in, last out," UMCOR is the global humanitarian aid organization of The United Methodist Church.

In 2019, UMCOR’s U.S. Disaster Response program and its network of instructors trained 4,042 volunteers to respond to disasters in the U.S. and designated $22.6 million for U.S. disaster response. UMCOR’s Early Response Team (ERT) training system provides responders with the information and skills necessary to support disaster survivors as soon as communities allow teams into impacted areas.

Background-checked, badged and motivated to be a caring, listening, Christian presence, ERT members prevent further damage by tarping roofs, stabilizing structures and clearing debris. ERTs know how to prepare a structure for recovery teams and to provide assurance to survivors that God’s people care about their lives and homes.

“This gift is a testament to the 80 years of UMCOR’s work and the countless United Methodists who have stepped up to volunteer when their communities have faced a disaster,” said UMCOR Executive Director Roland Fernandes said. “We are thankful for this gift and the confidence these friends have in UMCOR’s work.”

To contribute to The John Wesley Fund for U.S. Disaster Response or to support UMCOR in other ways, contact Tom Farley, director of development, at or 404-832-7782.

About the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)

Founded in 1940, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the global humanitarian aid and development agency of The United Methodist Church. UMCOR is working in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the United States and its territories. Our mission, grounded in the teachings of Jesus, is to alleviate human suffering—whether caused by war, conflict or natural disaster— with open hearts and minds to all people.

UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community's ability to recover on its own. UMCOR works through programs that address hunger, poverty, sustainable agriculture, international and domestic emergencies, refugee and immigrant concerns, global health issues, and transitional development. Learn more at,, and