Monday was work day #1. We started by attending an orientation with Bob the team coordinator at the MERCI Center. In addition to the Foundry UMC group, the United Methodist Nomads are here too. http://www.nomadsumc.org/ These are retired United Methodists that travel the country in their RVs and work in ministries such as MERCI fixing up homes, repairing, churches, and are first responders after a disaster.
Getting back to the orientation this morning...Bob gave us a great over view of the organization and how much this ministry is needed in the area. Goldsboro, NC is the poorest county in the state and has been hit by numerous hurricanes....recently heavy rains came through the area just north of here and caused a lot of flooding. MERCI has a large warehouse of supplies such as flood buckets and health kits which have been given to those affected. However, they are 7,000 tubes of toothpaste short! So, using funds raised during the Foundry Volunteers in Mission (VIM) auction, I spent $500 on several hundred tubes of toothpaste, and I also bought nail clippers for the health kits, and laundry detergent and cleaner that goes into the flood buckets. Flood buckets contain the materials needed to help clean up your home once a flood comes though.
After lunch, all 13 of us (4 from Foundry UMC and 9 Nomads) went to Phyllis' house. She runs Shiloh Farms which is an after school program for kids including several with disabilities. Phyllis has run into hard times and has several projects that need to be completed ASAP. So, Ken from Foundry volunteered to work on wiring and hanging lights, Krista is setting up tent garages to that the horses have shelter during the winter, and Caroline and I are painting a small barn used as a game room. We have a lot of work to keep us busy for several days!