This site is to help connect volunteers who wish to help respond to the flash flooding in Connellsville, Bullskin Township and Connellsville on August 28-29, 2016. Over 150 homes were affected and very little was covered even among those who had flood insurance. There are still 109 active cases in various stages of recovery and rebuild as of February 3, 2017. Your assistance is still needed and we expect to schedule team through the spring and summer of 2017.
We welcome those who are willing to serve, willing to learn, and willing to care. Flexibility and patience are a must!
There is something for everyone to do although what is needed most at the moment may not always be what you want to do. It may be phone calling residents to offer help or ask for an update. It may be carrying bags of waterlogged items to a dumpster. It may be listening to someone who is still trying to understand how and why this happened to them.
There are some sites where we can only send trained disaster response volunteers or those working under the supervision of a trained disaster response volunteer. Youth under 18 cannot go to unstable sites or muck out sites.
The Greater Connellsville Flood Recovery Center is coordinating response efforts and the Western PA United Methodist Church/UMCOR is helping to coordinate work teams and volunteers on their behalf. Those interested in volunteering should fill out this online Request to Volunteer Questionnaire. This simply gives the information needed to schedule you and match your skills and abilities to the right site and assist in our planning.
- Overnight housing at local churches (meaning air mattresses with access to showers) and other support are available.
- Volunteers are generally responsible for their own meals but kitchen facilities and other hospitality may be available.
- Clearances may be requested before going to some sites.
- Liability Release forms may be required for some sites before volunteer work begins. Your sponsoring organization may also have requirements.
- Long pants or jeans, sturdy or steel-toed shoes, and breathable shirts like a tee-shirt are appropriate.
- Medical information forms and medical release forms are available for groups to use to safeguard volunteers and required for United Methodist groups.
- Rebuilding efforts have begun and affected families have been working with disaster case managers to create recovery plans. Funding for expenses are pending
It also helps to Give! Connellsville Area Community Ministries is collecting funds locally in conjunction with the VOAD. Western PA United Methodist Church (WPAUMC) is providing the organizational and administrative support to the recovery effort. Funds can also be given through WPAUMC online or can be mailed directly to 1204 Freedom Road, Cranberry Twp., PA 1606. Note that because WPAUMC has a structure, 100% of the donated funds will be used for the Recovery Effort. Businesses and other organizations are also welcome to offer services and volunteer assistance.