Significant flooding in West Virginia has wreaked havoc, leaving widespread damage and the loss of nearly two dozen lives in its wake. The Bishop of West Virginia, the Rt Rev W. Michie Klusmeyer asked every parish in the diocese to take up a special offering yesterday to provide funds for relief efforts throughout the state and has been in touch with state and local leaders to determine how the church can most effectively assist in the response. In an email to the diocese, the bishop wrote;
“I have heard from people from around the US, asking what they can do for us. I have spoken with Episcopal Relief and Development about our situation, and we will be receiving a short term grant, to help with immediate needs. In addition, others have said money is forthcoming. To date, more than $30,000 has been pledged or sent. Obviously this is a drop in the ocean, but each dollar given is a dollar that will be given to those directly affected. Please continue to pray for all those in this situation who are struggling to regain a sense of normalcy.”
One of the hardest hit areas was in far southeastern West Virginia in Greenbrier county, and St James Episcopal Church in Lewisburg has taken a key role in local response efforts. Partnering with the local United Way, St James has been designated an aid distribution center, handing out food, clothing and other basic necessities to those affected in the surrounding regions.
The Rector of St James, the Rev Josh Saxe, said that the work had been “non-stop” but he also said that they were planning to be in it “for the long haul.” He added that the plan was to launch a non-profit to manage the monies coming in for long term redevelopment once all immediate needs were met.
Those who might be interested in making a financial donation can contact the diocesan offices at 304-344-3597 (Toll Free: 866-549-8346) or by making an online donation at the diocesan giving page.