Diving in at UMCOR West

May 22, 2019

By JB Brayfindley
Contributor to Instant Connection
“I love it!” exclaimed Shari Sandoval, the California-Nevada Conference’s project coordinator for Volunteers In Mission (VIM). “I can’t wait to see what else I will get to do this week!”
Sandoval is volunteering alongside members of San Jose’s Wesley United Methodist Church (at left) at the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) West Depot in Salt Lake City, Utah.
“It is a huge warehouse – floor to ceiling of buckets and other supplies,” said Sandoval, who is working all day long putting together Flood Buckets and School Kits.
“I came here because I am in the position as the project coordinator for VIM – and worked for VIM for the past five years,” she went on, “but I have never volunteered in this work before.” Sandoval has “always been support staff” but with new leadership responsibilities, she felt impelled to try out volunteering first hand. She was impressed at the organization at the UMCOR West Depot: “It’s pretty incredible … seeing the coordination, quantity, huge warehouse …”

Sandoval signed up a few weeks ago to take part in the Prime Timers Salt Lake City Mission Trip. The Prime Timers is a senior fellowship group from Wesley UMC that regularly supports the church’s mission projects. Besides the group of 10 from California-Nevada, there are eight volunteers from the California-Pacific Conference and three from the Oregon-Idaho Conference working at UMCOR West this week.
“Our work can be done by young and old and our costs are very low,” says Rev. Brian Diggs, Associate Director at UMCOR West. Currently, UMCOR has several openings in the spring and summer (2019) and invites local churches to consider volunteering for this vital mission. To do so, contact Diggs at 801-973-7250 or by emailing Bdiggs@UMCOR.org.
UMCOR was founded in 1940 and is the global humanitarian aid organization of the United Methodist Church, working in more than 80 countries. UMCOR is currently engaged in relief efforts in Texas (Hurricane Harvey), Syria (civil war), Sierra Leone (mudslides), and in many other places around the world.