Author Archive for lesliecarmichael

Middletown Fire Recovery Trip, April 8–13

The Valley Fire began on September 12 and was extinguished on October 6, 2015. By the time the fire was extinguished, it had killed four people, burned 76,000 acres and destroyed 1300 homes. With the local poverty rate at 25% and a high unemployment rate, approximately 45% of the population is either not insured or under-insured. Hope City, affiliated with the Hope Crisis Response Network, was created by several local churches to help rebuild homes in a community were the need is great.

Los Altos UMC is sending a team to help with housing construction. This trip is open to members of the general community as well as other faith communities. Some construction experience is desired but not mandatory. The minimum age is 12, and people ages 12–15 must be accompanied by an adult. The team will be assigned to assist with rebuilding one of the 18 houses that are currently under construction. We will stay in dormitory-style facilities with bunk beds and showers that have been set up in Middletown by the Hope Crisis Response Network (HCRN).

The $200 registration fee covers lodging, food, transportation, a t-shirt provided by HCRN, and insurance. If you’re interested in participating, sign up online by March 15. Then print and complete the medical and insurance forms and bring them to a pre-trip group meeting on March 25.

For more information, contact Leslie Carmichael or Bob Lee.

Early Response Team Training, Feb. 24

Are you interested in learning how to provide a caring, Christian presence to communities affected by a disaster? Come to a training for Early Response Teams (ERTs), which do light clean-up and mitigation tasks, all with a spirit of Christian presence. ERT work includes cleaning out flood-damaged homes, removing debris, placing tarps on homes, and helping to prevent further damage; this is not a rebuild and repair team.

Trained instructors will provide basic training and certification for interested participants on Saturday, February 24, 8:00am–5:00pm in Creekside. Los Altos UMC is hosting this training for the California-Nevada Conference. Registration is required, and the cost is $50 per person, which includes lunch and a training manual. There is an additional cost of $43 for the Safe Gatherings online training and background check. For details and to register, go to the California-Nevada Conference website.