Initially, $2 million will help the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) address immediate recovery needs in North Carolina and South Carolina. Later, the Endowment will distribute the additional $3 million to support rebuilding efforts long term.
“From the time that our founder created his foundation in 1924, The Duke Endowment has had a home in the Carolinas and a goal of improving lives across these two states,” said Minor Shaw, chair of the Endowment’s board. “In the aftermath of this deadly storm, we know that restoring lives and livelihoods will be a prolonged struggle. The Endowment wanted to support communities now as our neighbors work daily to recover, and still help in the future when it is time to rebuild.”
Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina in September 2018, causing extensive flooding and billions of dollars in damage. Authorities say the death toll across both states climbed to more than 50.
Founded in 1940, the United Methodist Committee on Relief 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. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering – whether caused by war, conflict or natural disaster – without regard to religion, race, nationality or gender, and to enhance the quality of life in the human community.
“For almost 80 years, UMCOR has supported its local partners and empowered survivors to lead their own way out of disaster,” said Thomas Kemper, general secretary of United Methodist Global Ministries and co-executive director of UMCOR. “Thanks to the assistance from individuals and organizations like The Duke Endowment, we have been able to maintain our devotion to strengthening and transforming areas after a crisis and providing hope to those who need it most.”
“Within hours of Hurricane Florence impacting the area, UMCOR was providing support to our local partners,” said Catherine Earl, UMCOR’s director of Disaster Response and U.S. Partner Relations. “UMCOR responds to civil and natural disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community’s ability to recover on its own. Our holistic response includes providing disaster case management services, accessing essential supplies, supporting long-term rebuilding efforts, and assisting communities as they adapt. Grants such as this from The Duke Endowment help make all of that possible.”
The Duke Endowment is one of the largest private foundations in the Southeast. Its work in North Carolina and South Carolina focuses on four program areas: child care, health care, higher education and rural United Methodist churches. The foundation shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but they are separate organizations.