Violent storms that included massive tornadoes hit Central and Western Massachusetts the evening of June 1, affecting four Unitarian Universalist congregations. The Clara Barton District has already advanced funds to meet immediate needs in these congregations and established a fund to support further relief efforts.
Funds will be used first toward direct and long term relief for UU congregations, members and staff directly impacted by the storms and then toward wider needs in those communities. Contributions toward this fund can be made by accessing this link: http://www.uua.kintera.org/matornado. If you would prefer to send a check, please make your check payable to the UUA and write in the memo line “Massachusetts Tornado Relief Fund”. Gifts can be mailed to:
Unitarian Universalist Association
Stewardship and Development
Attn: Gift Processing
25 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
For congregations taking up special collections, please refer to downloadable instructions online about how to return your gifts to the UUA. Please return the Gift Information Form to the UUA with your collection.
Donations received to June 16, 2011 total over $33,500. Gifts of any size are still welcome!
Affected are Springfield, Brookfield, Sturbridge and Monson. A staff member of the Springfield congregation sustained significant damage to personal property. Families in both the Sturbridge and Brookfield congregations lost their homes. And the top of the steeple of the UU Parish of Monson was torn away (see accompanying image). Fortunately, no one was harmed in these incidents, though the tornadoes are responsible for at least four deaths. Governor Deval Patrick has declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts and has asked for the help of up to a thousand National Guard to assist with relief efforts.