Southeast PA Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (SEPA VOAD) is partnering with UCC Disaster Ministries and Eastwick United to recruit volunteers to repair and rebuild homes in the Eastwick neighborhood of Philadelphia.
On August 4, 2020, during the pandemic, Tropical Storm Isaias dumped seven inches of rain on parts of eastern Pennsylvania. Wind damage and tornadoes left hundreds of thousands without power and widespread severe flooding led to injuries as well as one storm-related fatality. Covid concerns have left significant unmet needs in the impacted areas and especially in the Eastwick section of Philadelphia which has the highest concentration of damage to both structures and mechanical systems.
We anticipate receiving our first teams in early May, 2021. Along with following strict Covid guidelines on the worksites, the pandemic has also made it impossible for us to offer housing to volunteers.  We are encouraging volunteers to commute from a radius of approximately 60 miles or to make their own housing arrangements in the area.
Disaster Event: Tropical Storm Isaias, Eastern PA
Project Focus: Repair and Rebuild; install heating systems and hot water heaters if licensed
Contact: Judy Moore, Volunteer Coordinator 802-299-8290; IsaiasRecoveryVolunteers@gmail.com
Group Size:  2 to 5 team members
Group Leadership: Skilled team leader and semi-skilled assistant
Minimum Age: 18
Accommodations:  None (due to Covid)
Cost: Housing (if teams are not commuting), transportation, food
Tools: Please bring general carpentry tools and a substantial first aid kit
Donations are deductible and always welcome: It is estimated that $320,000 will be required to meet the needs of the Eastwick community. To date $48,500 has been committed from the following organizations: Eastwick Neighbors and Friends Coalition, The Salvation Army, UCC Disaster Ministries, Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern PA, and a local Go Fund Me effort. Please earmark ‘Eastwick Recovery’ and send donations to: Eastwick Unmet Needs Roundtable; St. Paul AME Church Ellwood; 8398 Lindbergh Blvd.; Philadelphia, PA 19153
Other Information: Once contact is made with our Volunteer Coordinator you will be provided you with all the necessary information including release forms, skill sheets for your group, contact information, arrival information. etc.
Educational/Advocacy Components:
  • “Mission Trips That Matter” by Don C. Richter, Upper Room Books
  • On-Site Reflection: “Meeting God in the Ruins: Devotions for Disaster Volunteers.” Free copies may be ordered from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America by calling 800.638.3522 ext. 2580 (ISBN 6-0001-6788-1); pay shipping only.
  • Follow-Up Action: Help your local community prepare for possible disaster and response. Be sure your congregation has a plan in case of local disaster (see uccfiles.com/pdf/A-Disaster-Preparedness-Manual-for-Churches.pdf). Get to know your UCC Conference Disaster Coordinator and stay involved.