Post-Tornado Volunteers Needed

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Following the recent tornadoes in our area, The Rev. Canon John Wilker-Blakley, in consultation with a United Church colleague, was told of a conversation with a clergy-person familiar with traumatic events, that one of the most useful things the Church can offer is volunteers who can help steer people through the labyrinth of insurance and government forms which have to be filled out as soon as  possible after the event. Complex as these forms often are, they are worse if you are working through the fog of trauma. Understandably this is the very time when these often exacting insurance and government forms must be completed. To assist with this, retired insurance personnel or retired government workers who have experience with some of the complexities of such forms, are an invaluable asset to walk with people negotiating these often seemingly opaque forms.

To this end, we are trying to create a list of people willing to do this work for a time, as volunteers, in the aftermath of the devastating September 21st tornadoes. If you or someone you know is willing to help, please contact John directly at  613-592-4747 or march.priest@rogers.com.

Episcopal Statement: Ottawa/Gatineau Tornadoes

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The tornadoes and severe thunderstorms last Friday tested our perseverance to deal with our environment and our abilities to cope. Without loss of life and six tornadoes later, many of us lost hydro, some lost or had damage to their homes, and there was much destruction. Thanks to the efforts of the City of OttawaHydroOttawa, and HydroOne, agencies such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, and countless acts of generosity and kindness on the part of many citizens of our communities, we ‘weathered the storm’ and discovered ourselves to be a resilient and loving community.

As people of faith in a loving God, we discovered the ability to respond to those in need, including ourselves. The City of Ottawa has offered many opportunities for people to volunteer; the Red Cross is receiving contributions for its ongoing work; our congregations who have people affected by the tornadoes have been generous in their support.

What can we do? Volunteer with the City of Ottawa if you are inclined. Contribute to the costs of the Red Cross and Salvation Army. There is a Facebook page for coordinating donations/assistance for Dunrobin residents. The Ottawa Senators have set up a GoFundMe campaign through which the Ottawa Senators Foundation will match the first $50,000 raised by the campaign. Support your parish in their outreach to individuals affected. Pray, and give thanks to our God who has given us hands and feet and minds and hearts to respond to those in need.

Yours in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. John H. Chapman
Bishop of Ottawa

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