Special Opportunities

Special Opportunities

GUATEMALA WHEELCHAIR MISSION TRIP is an annual trip to Guatemala to distribute wheelchairs. There are so many people in Guatemala who need, but who cannot afford a wheelchair. The gift of mobility is life changing. The next trip is tentatively scheduled for mid-January 2021. We will be providing about 250 wheelchairs. We will personally present them to each deserving individual in one or more locations, typically Antigua and Guatemala City. This will be our fifth delivery. Thanks to everyone for their past support in making this very meaningful mission opportunity possible. Each wheelchair costs $150. Our goal is the raise $21,000 which is matched by a Wheelchair Foundation donor, our sponsoring organization. As we have in prior years, we will team with Asbury UMC in Livermore and Lynnewood UMC in Pleasanton on this mission trip. If you are interested in participating on the next trip, please contact Steve Elliott for more information.

PUERTO RICO was destroyed by Hurricane Maria in the Fall of 2017. It will be a long and challenging recovery and we have sent teams every year since to help with the rebuilding. We will be returning again in February of 2021. Last year we worked in small towns along the coast. Our team will stay at a retreat camp or a local church depending on our assignment. The estimated cost of the trip (airfare, housing and meals) and a registration packet will be available in the Fall of 2020. In the meantime, contact Steve Elliott to ask questions or to express interest.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRE RESPONSE AND REBUILDING has been a special opportunity for us since California has seen devastating wildfires each year for the past five years. Hundreds of homes have been destroyed. Lives lost. Millions of acres burned. We provide two types of assistance. The first is Early Response. We have trained, badged individuals ready to go help with the near-term response just after the fire happens. This can be working at the local assistance center or on site helping an individual homeowner assist with cleanup or recovering possessions from their burned home. Our largest such effort of this type was the Fall 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County. Secondly, our most common value add is in helping to rebuild. We typically partner with a local long-term recovery group to build new homes. We provide construction personnel and materials/supplies to help with the effort. Usually we go for a calendar week each trip. Recent rebuilding trips have included Middletown in Lake County and rural Mendocino County. We are planning to assist with rebuilding in Paradise (Camp Fire) and Redding (Carr Fire) in the coming year. Everyone is welcome to join us! All skill levels contribute to an effective rebuilding mission team. For more information on this type of mission, contact Steve Elliott.

DISASTER RESPONSE is an annual mission at SRVUMC. While our recent focus has been on California Wildfires, SRVUMC continues to assist with recovery from other natural disasters – floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. Our typical response is to provide two types of assistance. One is financial aid. Through special offerings sponsored by our church conference, often in coordination with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), we raise donations to help with immediate food, shelter and other essentials. Second, we provide volunteers to help with cleanup and rebuilding. Most often these are volunteer teams that go for a week to help homeowners with early response cleanup and the subsequent rebuilding. We usually work through the local United Methodist Conference or a long-term recovery organization with which the local conference is partnering. Recent missions have included flood recovery in Houston and Baton Rouge and hurricane recovery in Corpus Christi. Each volunteer funds their travel and shared team costs (food, housing). All levels of ability are welcome and round out a successful team. For more information on this sort of mission participation, contact Steve Elliott.