UMCOR receives grant to create The John Wesley Fund for U.S. Disaster Response

A new fund makes UMCOR training possible and encourages support.

January 31, 2020 | ATLANTA
For Release: IMMEDIATE
Media Contact: Dan Curran for UMCOR - 770-658-9586 (cell) -

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 and its continued response to disasters in the United States. In providing this gift, the donors hope others will be encouraged to support UMCOR in its efforts to respond quickly and thoroughly to future disasters.

Known for being "early in, last out," UMCOR is the global humanitarian aid organization of The United Methodist Church. Since its founding, UMCOR, through its United States Disaster Response (USDR) program, has supported its partners dealing with many natural and other disasters that have impacted the nation and its territories.

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 $22,613,587.87 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. UMCOR will partner with United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) for future disaster response trainings, the first of which will be in July 2020.

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.

"The Bible teaches us to ‘Love Thy Neighbor’. The United Methodist Committee on Relief has done this by offering assistance when disaster strikes,” a representative of the benefactor said. “Using their network of associates trained in emergency response, UMCOR is able to work with churches and community leaders on the local level to help those directly impacted by disaster. They help our neighbors no matter who they are and regardless of background or belief. Through the establishment of this fund, named for and honoring Methodism’s founder John Wesley, we believe UMCOR can continue to provide training for volunteers called to help in times of need.”

“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 Roland Fernandes, executive director of UMCOR. “We are thankful for this gift and the confidence these friends have in UMCOR’s work.”

“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 John Wesley Fund for U.S. Disaster Response will enable us to prepare even more volunteers to interact with vulnerable survivors with hope and healing in difficult circumstances.”

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
UMCOR donates needed supplies to first responders in Louisiana

More than 80,000 masks in sealed and unopened cartons purchased for future use are being distributed to first responders serving communities near UMCOR Sager Brown Depot.

Most mission and relief grant payments put on hold

Given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on revenue sources and cash flow, Global Ministries and UMCOR have placed temporary holds on most grant payments.

UMCOR-trained volunteers working to help Tennessee recover

UMCOR began providing support to its local partners mere hours after the EF-4 tornado left a path of destruction across regions of the state on Monday, March 2.

UMCOR moves to support local partner in China fighting coronavirus crisis

An emergency grant funds measures to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases.

UMCOR names new executive director

The United Methodist Committee on Relief will enter its ninth decade led by Lara S. Martin who brings a strong background in international disaster response, public health and child welfare.

Sign up for Global Ministries and UMCOR emails