United States

USA Emergency Response Program

UMR’s community outreach efforts under Emergency Response include educational trainings for disaster response/recovery, environmental health hazards, emergency preparedness, and hazard mitigation programming. Strategic areas of operations include distributing food and items to survivors, such as hygiene emergency kits, immediate health supplies, blankets/bedding, and providing assistance with other unmet needs of the community or populations affected. The UMR Emergency Response program also helps provide individual assistance by providing cash cards, disaster financial education, housing clean-up, and debris removal.

The UMR Emergency Response uses comprehensive fundamentals of planning to develop emergency operations and efforts in the areas of preparedness, education, response, recovery, and mitigation.

UMR Emergency Response Strategic Areas of Operation and Programs:

  • Preparedness: includes planning and preparedness activities before emergencies occur
  • Response: putting preparedness plans into action, response activities, sustaining life
  • Recovery: recovery activities, financial assistance for survivors, relief programing
  • Mitigation: prevention of future hazards, working to minimize effects, reducing harm
  • Education: training and educating the public and/or volunteers on areas of emergency response

Working under national preparedness policies for disasters or major incidents, UMR:

  • Conducts community-based planning that engages the whole community
  • Develops a response planning process that represents the whole community population
  • Engages community leaders, government, and the private sector in the planning process
  • Creates risk analysis and identify operational needs and resources
  • Prioritizes planning efforts to support the needs of survivors

National Days of Service

United Mission for Relief and Development Designated as Lead Agency to Engage Youth on National Days of Service

Washington, DC — United Mission for Relief and Development will serve as a Youth Service America Lead Agency, mobilizing young people to lead volunteer service projects that help meet community needs on 9/11 Day of Service & Remembrance (September 11, 2019) MLK Day of Service (January 20, 2020), and Global Youth Service Day (April 17-19, 2020). These three days are officially designated as National Days of Service by the 2009 Serve America Act.

With grant funding from The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service along with training and support from YSA (Youth Service America), UMR will build a culture in which all young people have the opportunity and support to find their voice, take action, and make an impact in their communities. As the official local organizers for these national days of service, Lead Agencies are a vital part of YSA’s work to activate all youth, ages 5-25 – especially those in under-served communities who aren’t usually asked to participate.

UMR will engage at least 1,500 youth volunteers and partner with 10 other community-based organizations and schools, including George Washington University, George Mason University, University of Delaware, and University of Houston. Guided by their young people, UMR and its coalition partners will organize large-scale community events, celebrations and community service projects on Global Youth Service Day.

“We are thrilled to partner with UMR and the thousands of young people who will serve and celebrate on these days of service,” said Steven A. Culbertson, President and CEO of YSA. “We’re currently leaving two-thirds of our young citizens out of actively participating in our democracy.  Volunteering is a gateway to a lifetime of civic participation and days of service are on-ramps to volunteering, especially for first-time volunteers.”

United Mission for Relief and Development (UMR) is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit  organization based in Washington, DC.  UMR provides livelihood, disaster relief, and recovery services to the underserved.  UMR works domestically and internationally to ensure that people have access to clean water, to healthcare, and are able to earn a sustainable livelihood.

YSA (Youth Service America) believes that youth, communities, and democracy thrive when we all work together for the common good. YSA is a leading global nonprofit that activates young people, ages 5-25, to find their voice, take action, and acquire powerful civic and 21st Century skills as they solve problems facing their communities. YSA supports its activation campaigns – including 9/11 Day of Service, MLK Day of Service, and Global Youth Service Day – with grants, training & resources, and recognition programs for young people and their adult champions. Youth-led projects use Awareness, Service, Advocacy, and Philanthropy (ASAP) strategies to create social and environment change. For more information, visit www.YSA.org.

Honoring the history of September 11th by serving in your community helps transform 9/11 into a day of unity, empathy, and service as an enduring and positive tribute to those lost and injured on 9/11/01, and the many who rose in service in response to the attacks, including first responders, recovery workers, volunteers and members of our military. www.YSA.org/911Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is Monday, January 21, 2019. It is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off” – and is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to work together to help solve our most pressing problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, bridges barriers, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”www.YSA.org/MLKDay

Celebrating 32 years of youth changing the world, Global Youth Service Day (GYSD) is the largest youth service and civic action event in the world and the only one that celebrates and creates opportunities for all youth ages 5-25, their communities, and our democracy to thrive by working together for the common good. www.GYSD.org

Katie Reusch, Director of Partnerships
YSA (Youth Service America)
kreusch@ysa.org | (202) 650-5056
T: @YouthService | I: @YouthService | F: @YouthServiceAmerica

ESL Classes for Refugees and Immigrants

UMR partnered with the Muslim American Society DC to assist the newly arrived immigrant and refugee families to resettle in the DC/Maryland/Virginia area. UMR provided a free educational service to new immigrants and refugees to assist them in attaining employment and live in dignity.

UMR conducted a 12-week course to provide English as a Second Language class and hosted regular assessments of student progress in achieving goals of English language proficiency. UMR also incorporated American cultural activities to help with resettlement, including social events and field trips. UMR conducted a workshop on job search, application, resume building, cover letter writing, interviewing, and hosted on a bi-annual basis job fairs that new immigrants and refugees can meet with potential employers.

Indiana University Courses

UMR is providing 100 scholarships to students interested in becoming certified in philanthropic fundraising. UMR offers these courses in coordination with Indiana University School of Philanthropy and CMP.

The Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy increases the understanding of philanthropy and improves its practice worldwide through critical inquiry, interdisciplinary research, teaching, training, and civic engagement. Their vision and goal are to make philanthropic studies recognized as an integrated field of study that develops positive and lasting change in the world.
“We were provided with the essential tools, encouragement, and valuable input to strengthen our efforts in making Yaqeen Institute self-sustaining… by the end, I was able to put together a plan that has proved to be fruitful.” – Huthaifa Shqeirat, Director of Development at the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, said after attending a course taught by the Center for Muslim Philanthropy (@CMP) at @IndianaUniversity.
If you are interested in remaining updated on future classes, sign up here! This is an opportunity you don’t want to miss.

Imam Mental Health First Aid Workshop

The recent terror attack in New Zealand at a mosque during Friday prayers sparked a discussion worldwide, highlighting the important leadership role Imams have in their communities.

To be a great crisis manager, understanding trauma and having the tools and resources to act on behalf of survivors is extremely important. The UMR Crisis Managers initiative gives Imams three core areas of training and discussion that will help Imams become Crisis Managers and help their communities heal after tragedies. This three part initiative includes a mental health first aid overview, active shooter training, and emergency preparedness:

  1. Mental Health First Aid
    This training of relief and response aid gives crisis managers an understanding of how mental health plays a part in healing from traumatic events.
  2. Active Shooter Training
    An updated training course on how to deal with an active shooter and what measures can be taken to save lives and get as many people to safety in this type of situation.
  3. Emergency Preparedness for Crisis Managers
    What would you do if a disaster or crisis comes to your community? This emergency preparedness training will provide the resources you need for many different types of disasters. It shows how a crisis manager works to play a role in helping respond to an emergency and helping communities heal.

Participants of the first Imam Mental Health First Aid Workshop received a certificate of completion and an opportunity to volunteer as a UMR crisis manager providing faith counseling or prayers for survivors of disasters in the United States.

Imams who complete this roundtable and training will be able to:

  • Volunteer as on-call crisis managers with UMR’s Emergency Response Program to
    help provide support to survivors of disasters in the United States.
  • Get certifications that can help keep their communities safe from active shooters, prepare for natural disasters, and provide resources for other traumatic events.
  • Be recognized as faith leaders at the forefront of relief efforts in the U.S. along with
    other faith based groups.

Youth Emergency Preparedness Workshop

UMR Chapter youth members between the ages of 18-24 get trained on emergency preparedness and are equipped with resources to know what to do in the case of an emergency. They learn how to create emergency plans and emergency kits, and upon completion of their training get certified in UMR’s Emergency Preparedness Program, making them eligible to volunteer in a limited capacity for emergency response on behalf of UMR.

Each young person is given a pre-test to gauge their knowledge base as well as a post-test to once their training is complete.

CA Wildfires Emergency Response

The Better Together Coalition with combined contribution from UMR, IMANA, UHR, and Pure Hands completed the year with giving efforts to the response to the CA Wildfires. This effort was extremely important as the disaster of the California wildfires in Paradise, California also known as the Campfire wildfire DR-4407 was a disaster very different from fires in most recent years. The devastation of this fire spread for over 30 miles and more than 25,000 residents of the area were affected, and more than 86 people found dead and hundreds still missing. The Better Together Coalition response was lead by UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator Rebekah Frimpong and was mainly focused on three core areas of response that included financial assistance, education, and community outreach. With the support of The Better Together Coalition UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator was able to coordinate community outreach efforts in two towns where survivors of the wildfires relocated or evacuated to. Working in Chico and Oroville, California connections were made with distribution centers and organizations for getting goods, food, supplies, and services to survivors. In addition, UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator was also able to develop partnerships with volunteer groups, throughout Northern California to support efforts.

UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator established a partnership with The Hope Center in Oroville, CA, to identified immediate needs for survivors who relocated to Oroville, CA and the populations in most need. Through the partnership established with The Hope Center, on behalf of The Better Together Coalition, UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator was able to provide a family of seven with a new mattress, blankets, pillows, and items for the children of the family. This family has now successfully moved into a new permanent home. UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator was also able to assemble with the help of volunteers from Hands on Sacramento and the Department of Consumer Affairs in Sacramento, CA over 100 packages to deliver to The Hope Center distribution center in Oroville for survivors. UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator also worked with the organization Passages in Chico, CA to deliver 22 requested packages to senior citizens affected by the fire. The Great Harvest Bread Company in Chico, CA organized a lunch for first responder nurses who were first on the scene during the wildfires and The Better Together Coalition matched the efforts making a contribution to help feed 50 first responder nurses.

The Better Together Coalition Book Drive organized by UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator connected with Friends of Sacramento Library Ella K. McClatchy Branch to collect and pack 14 boxes of books and magazines and UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator delivered 14 Boxes of books and magazines (over 200 books) to The Hope Center Distribution Center in Oroville, CA. UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator followed up with the Red Cross Animal Shelter run by a small nonprofit group called A.S.A.P. on work with pets in this disaster who were being house at the shelter which their owners were sheltered at the Red Cross shelter Chico, CA location. UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator shared a development plan draft that included resources for future assistance for the animal shelter to start for long term recovery. On behalf of The Better Together Coalition, UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator and UMR’s Chapters Coordinator delivered pet supplies and two cash cards ($200 total) for additional supplies to help A.S.A.P. continue their efforts with pet care and rescue including vet services. UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator developed a partnership to work with United Way Northern California at the Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) in Chico, CA to help survivors fill out applications for financial assistance and navigate through the FEMA registration process. UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator developed and facilitated Art Day (Art based therapy) for school age children who survived the CA wildfires. The program was run in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club and Paradise Elementary School in Oroville, CA. UMR’s Emergency Response Coordinator again with the assistance of volunteers from Hands on Sacramento assembled and delivered 100 creative arts packages for kids to The Hope Center Distribution Center in Oroville, CA. The overall positive impact in the community from the efforts of The Better Together Coalition was that more than 300 people were directly impacted by efforts.

Arkansas and Oklahoma Floods Emergency Response

On Saturday June 22, 2019 UMR Emergency Response Coordinator and UMR Chapters Coordinator deployed to Arkansas along the border of Oklahoma in Fort Smith, Arkansas (Sebastian County). The most hard-hit areas of the state of Arkansas were in Fort Smith, Arkansas and then across the state line border of the state into Oklahoma into Seqoyah County.

Sunday June 23, 2019 both UMR Emergency Response Coordinator and UMR Chapters Coordinator visited a tornado storms and flood survivor identified through Crisis Clean-up in Fort Smith who suffered severe flooding at her residence. Ruth, a mother of four who is a house owner, was out of work for two weeks due to the flooding. She received a UMR disaster clean up kit, $200 cash card and direct help with an appeal for FEMA, SBA, a hazard mitigation grant information.

Monday June 24, 2019 The UMR team met with FEMA Disability Integration Advisor for Region VI in Little Rock Arkansas and discussed Disaster Survivor Assistance DSA, Arkansas Mass Care, and assisting with unmet needs of recipients in Arkansas. The UMR Chapters Coordinator received a crash course on DSA as both UMR Emergency Response Coordinator and UMR Chapters Coordinator use DSA as a template to access the needs of the tornado storms and flood survivors.

Tuesday June 25, 2019 the UMR team traveled to Moffet and Spiro, Oklahoma Seqoyah County and connected with Eight Days of Hope (a nonprofit organization that has been leading the way in gutting out homes that have been flooded). One household that they helped, UMR was able to follow up with and give a $200 cash card for food and transportation expenses, and set up assistance to replace a bed that was destroyed in the flood. Two additional families who were renting their homes were also identified through Crisis Clean-up, and given assistance with FEMA registration, provided $200 cash cards each for moving expenses, and furniture replacement. These three households in Oklahoma were all covered in over 10-15 feet of water and the homes were completely destroyed.

On Tuesday June 25, 2019, the UMR Emergency Response Coordinator and UMR Chapters Coordinator also met with The Disaster Emergency Team in Fort Smith, Arkansas to identify more unmet needs and arrange for a donation drop tomorrow at the United Way donation hub in Fort Smith, Arkansas that provides supplies, food, and resources to those in Fort Smith, Arkansas and nearby Oklahoma communities. UMR also met with Arkansas Department of Human Health Services to see if they had any families needing additional help getting food.

On Wednesday June 26, 2019 Robert (Ruth’s neighbor), is a retired husband and grandfather whose house suffered flood damage as well also received $200 cash card and direct help with an appeal for FEMA, SBA, an hazard mitigation grant information. The UMR team met with Sebastian County Emergency Management Director and delivered food, hygiene supplies, and special flood survival baskets for three families to the United Way donation hub in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

On June 27, 2019 follow up calls to tornado storms and flood survivors Paula, Raquia, and Ruth were made by the UMR Emergency Response Coordinator to secure their additional needs that could not be met in one day and required more research and follow-up with FEMA. UMR Emergency Response Coordinator, called contacts in FEMA in Oklahoma and got Paula and Raquia’s FEMA applications fast tracked to get them resources. Raquia lived in Oklahoma and was renting her place. UMR Emergency Response Coordinator contacted FEMA Disability Integration Advisor in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Finance and Housing Agency to help Raquia with rental and housing assistance. For Paula, who owned a house in Spiro, Oklahoma UMR Emergency Response Coordinator, called FEMA Disability Integration Advisor in Oklahoma to assist Paula with her disabled nephew and getting her house inspected for housing assistance. Paula was also connected with Afermath Contractors to get a free inspection and estimate for repairs for her home. The UMR Emergency Response Coordinator contacted FEMA Disability Integration Advisor in Arkansas to follow up with Ruth mother of four who owned a home in Fort Smith, Arkansas and before speaking to UMR had her FEMA application denied. UMR Emergency Response Coordinator was able to help Ruth get an appeal for FEMA assistance and connected with SBA for a disaster housing Loan and hazard mitigation grant.

In total eight families were directly assisted during the deployment and about 20 families were given donations from UMR via the United Way donation hub. About $2,500 of aid, furniture, food, supplies, and toys was given out, two new community partners engaged, two local government agencies engaged, and federal agency partnership with FEMA.

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