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United Methodist Committee On Relief

Midwest Mission is a Cooperating Depot in the UMCOR Disaster Relief Network. 

Midwest Mission is one of seven cooperating depots in the UMCOR relief supply network. Midwest Mission is not funded or run by UMCOR but receives, assembles, and stores all UMCOR Kits and disburses them upon the request during disasters in the United States. 

We have the opportunity to make, store, and send UMCOR kits that will be disbursed in the event of disaster within the United States. If you would like to participate, you can make kits at home and send them to Midwest Mission, or send needed supplies.

If you or someone you know is in need and want to request UMCOR kits, click here.

See list of affiliated depots and their contact information here.

Midwest Mission and UMCOR Partnership — Q&A

Is Midwest Mission UMCOR?

No, Midwest Mission is a separate 501©3 non-profit organization. We are not run by the United Methodist Church or our annual conference. The Illinois Great Rivers Conference gave a $100,000 grant to Midwest Mission in 1999 to get the project started. Midwest Mission has a covenant relationship with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. 

How is Midwest Mission Funded?

Midwest Mission is funded almost entirely by contributions from individuals or churches. We receive a few grants here and there, but we receive no money from any form of government, corporations, or directly from the United Methodist Church. We have Advance Specials in some of the conferences of the North Central Jurisdiction. When you give to UMCOR you are not giving to Midwest Mission because we are separately funded organizations. 

Midwest Mission is a UMCOR Affiliate Warehouse. What does that mean?

Midwest Mission has committed to being a part of the United Methodist Relief Supply Network. There are eight warehouses in the relief supply network. UMCOR Sager Brown is the only warehouse owned, funded, and operated by UMCOR. We pledge to build, verify, collect, warehouse, and ship UMCOR kits at our own expense. The network works together in times of disaster to resource one another with kits if someone has had a substantial request that is larger than they can handle. If the Midwest floods and Midwest Mission gives out all our buckets, we can request buckets be sent from another warehouse. If a hurricane hits the coast and wipes out the supply of hygiene kits, Midwest Mission will be ready to send supplies to another warehouse to fill their need.  Again, at the expense of the requesting warehouse.

We are stronger together —  if one of us is down the others are there to help with supplies, but no money is exchanged. For example, during COVID, UMCOR Sager Brown closed in March of 2020 and didn’t reopen until June 2023. During that time, they sent the supplies they had on hand to our location as we remained open and continued to safely host volunteers to keep up with the increased demand around the world and domestically. When supplies were completed we would send them to their location or another location they deemed needed the inventory. 

When do UMCOR Kits get sent?

When a request is put in by a United Methodist Conference Disaster Relief Coordinator (CDRC) or by a stand-alone organization or non-profit entity. UMCOR kits are only sent within the U.S. and mostly in response to disasters. 

What are the UMCOR Kits?

In 2018, UMCOR went down to three kits:  the Cleaning Kit (Flood Bucket), Hygiene Kit, and School Kit. But at the end of 2023, they did away with the School Kit due to a lack of requests during a disaster. They started making a disposable Feminine Hygiene Kit instead.

All other kits we talk about are Midwest Mission Kits that we distribute both nationally and internationally. These are completely separate from UMCOR.

Who decides what is in an UMCOR kit?

UMCOR decides what is in their kits and often works in collaboration with Church World Services. The items in these kits do not change, and are not under our discretion.

Should I give money to Midwest Mission or UMCOR in a disaster?

Outside of UMCOR Sunday, 100% of the funds given to UMCOR goes to the U.S. or International Disaster Relief Advance Fund. During international disasters, UMCOR sends relief in the form of monetary grants. UMCOR no longer ships supplies internationally because shipping can be expensive and not as immediate. Because of how UMCOR is set up, this is the best way for them to steward your donation.  

However, Midwest Mission does not pay for shipping. We work with partners like Food for the Poor, Northstar Foundation, and U.S. Southern Command to receive information on the requested items needed for a disaster. Many times, these are items they are unable to find near the disaster site. Midwest Mission lets you know what the needed items are, and you can purchase them or send monetary donations for us to purchase products to be sent.

If you want to give requested, needed supplies in a disaster, Midwest Mission is your choice — whether you want to donate supplies or money. If you want to assist in sending monetary help to the disaster, then give funds to UMCOR.

Midwest Mission will not open up funding for a specific disaster unless we know we are going to be servicing that disaster. Every dollar donated to that disaster fund has to be spent towards that disaster. When you give to UMCOR during a disaster, it goes to the international or domestic disaster relief funds and not to the specific disaster. This way of funding, however, allows UMCOR to quickly release grant funds. For the scale at which UMCOR gives grants with such a small staff,  this again is the most efficient for them. 

We want to steward your resources well, and make sure you are given the proper information to give where you really want to give, so that we can all work together to send hope and empowerment in times of crisis around the world and around the corner. 

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