Here is an update from Pastor Gary Ray of the Oso Community Chapel.
If anyone knows of a drop-off point on the Eastside or in the Seattle area for donations that will be taken to Oso, people are asking. Please let me know. Thank you!
3/27/14, 10:51 P.M.
Noted below is an update regarding the Oso Landslide Response work.
First and foremost, let me offer condolences to those who have suffered loss and extend a word of thanks and heartfelt appreciation for the love and support many have given to the Oso community. I serve as Pastor of Oso Community Chapel. Oso Chapel is the only church in Oso and will be serving as a base for communication and the coordination of care and special support in the days, weeks, and months to come. A brief report on what is happening and what is needed is presented below:
WHAT IS HAPPENING
Oso Chapel coordinated a community meeting Wednesday evening. This was a time to let the hurting know that they are not alone, that there is hope, and that good people are ready to stand by them during this difficult time. It was also a time to gather community input regarding the ways to identify and respond to needs.
At this time the plan for individuals to communicate their needs and ask questions includes:
- Individuals can text or call Gary Ray at 360/862-3550.
- Individuals can email needs and questions to OsoChapel(at)gmail.com.
- Individuals can communicate needs and questions through the OsoChapel.com website (which will be up by Sunday). The website will have information on the slide and a place to share thoughts/questions/needs.
- Oso Chapel staff and volunteers are maintaining a presence at the Chapel each day (so that individuals can have a face-to-face conversation with someone who cares).
- The Oso Chapel sign/reader board has been updated to note a phone number, 360/862-3550, which individuals can call (or text) for answers and assistance.
At this time the plan to receive donations includes:
- Financial donations can be given through the following secure, online portals: OsoMudslideRelief.org and OsoChapelCares.com.
- Financial donations can be sent directly to the Oso Community Chapel. The address is 22318 SR 530, Oso, WA 98223. Make checks out to Oso Chapel and designate MUDSLIDE RELIEF in the memo section and/or include a cover note.
*Note: All funds received through any of the above giving avenues will be used for mudslide relief efforts.
At this time the plan for material donations includes:
- Donations of food and other material goods are being received. The Oso Fire Department may be receiving items as well. We ask that food items be unopened, and not be near the expiration date. Non-perishable/non-refrigerated items are strongly preferred. Also, as we desire to be rather uniform in the distribution of food boxes we prepare, it is best if food items donated were purchased in bulk– that is, five bags of sugar or flour is preferable to a misc. assortment of canned goods and boxed items. For additional information please call 360/862-3550.
- Donations can be brought to Oso Chapel (please call or text first to ensure someone is available to assist at the church with your drop-off). We will see to the distribution of items to those in need, and to aid support centers such as the Oso Fire Department and Rhodes River Ranch.
- Oso Chapel can receive (but prefers not to receive) clothing at this time. If you do donate clothing, please make sure items are in good condition, recently laundered and folded, and generally sorted (children’s clothes, women’s clothes, coats, t-shirts, etc.).Priority needs are wool socks and gloves. If possible, please box and label your donation (i.e., this box has women’s coats). Thank you!
- Oso Chapel can receive and store furniture. This is not an immediate need, but will likely be a need for those moving back into the area. It looks like a storehouse is being donated for this purpose. Needed items will likely include beds, kitchen and living room furniture, lamps, bedroom furniture and misc. household items. Items donated can be used– but should be in very good condition. Donated items should come from smoke-free homes. Those with furniture donations should coordinate their drop-off by calling 360/862-3550 or emailing to OsoChapel(at)gmail.com. Tax deductible receipts can be provided.
At this time the plan to engage volunteers includes:
- Individuals can share their desire to volunteer by calling 360/862-3550 or emailing OsoChapel(at)gmail.com (contact by text or email at this time is preferred). Please note what you would like to volunteer to help with, what experience or skills you have, and when you are available. Be sure to provide your contact information. A master volunteer list will be established and when needs are brought forward, they will be matched with volunteers best equipped to assist.
- Though this is not finalized, I anticipate that the Oso Chapel facilities will be open a number of hours through the week so that area residents can receive help, care, food, internet access, a cup of coffee, a news update, prayer support and encouragement. We will need volunteers to help staff this new community care center. I expect that the plan for this will be announced by Saturday evening.
- A regular email update will note present and anticipated (near-future) volunteer needs, service opportunities, and current happenings (your stories, needs, questions and suggestions are welcome).
- This plan is not finalized, but I anticipate that an INFORMATION STATION will be established at the front of the Oso Chapel property. This will be a small, covered area with a bulletin board and various flyers noting how to receive assistance, important phone numbers, the latest need and volunteer opportunity list, calendar information, etc.
- Volunteers will be needed NEXT WEEK to sort and organize recent food donations. Please text or call 360/862-3550 or email to OsoChapel(at)gmail.com to note your desire to assist with this project (contact by text or email is preferred at this time).
Note: Volunteer work pertaining to search and recovery efforts is being coordinated through local fire departments and FEMA.
Recent Happenings/Misc. Information:
1) Oso has been blessed to receive counsel and special support from World Vision, the Red Cross, FEMA, area churches/ranches/businesses, the Northwest Baptist Convention, CBN, and many caring individuals.
2) DONATIONS: Financial and material donations are being received. Material donations have included food, clothing, chocolate bars, cleaning kits, a water pump, hygiene kits, gas cards, grocery cards, the promise of technical support, chaplain support and more. Food has been taken to the Oso Fire Department, to Rhodes River Ranch, and to a storage area at the Trafton School. Extra perishable food items were taken to the Everett Gospel Mission.
- Food has been prepared for first responders at the Oso Fire Department.
- Food vouchers for meals have been provided for first responders at Rhodes River Ranch.
- Counsel, care, food, gas/grocery cards, and hygiene kits have been given to a number of individuals who have come to Oso Chapel for assistance.
- Fruitful Farms has developed and presented Oso Slide-related website information and an online giving option.
- Transportation assistance has been provided to area medical facilities.
- The Northwest Baptist Convention Office has provided financial support and set up a secure online giving portal.
- Short term housing for individuals and animal boarding assistance has been provided and storage facility assistance has been promised.
- Oso Chapel will coordinate a special, encouraging community worship service this Sunday at 10:00 A.M. All are invited. Children’s Church provided.
- Those wishing to share a prayer request or need can email to OsoChapel(at)gmail.com or text (or call) 360/862-3550.
- A Billy Graham Association Chaplain trained in crisis counseling will be at Oso Chapel Friday morning, March 28th, 9:00 A.M. to Noon. He will be available for any who wish to talk.
- Pastor Gary Ray of Oso Chapel is available for prayer, support and counsel.
- A memorial cross and prayer/reflection bench have been set up toward the front of the Oso Chapel property. Individuals can bring flowers from home and decorate the cross as they feel led.
5) SPECIAL SUPPORT AVAILABLE: Please email OsoChapel(at)gmail.com or text (or call) 360/862-3550 for information on any of the following special support options.
- transportation assistance
- meal assistance
- housing support
- storage needs
- funeral expense offset
- memorial service support
- free summer camp options for youth at Warm Beach Camp
- special service/reception food support
- discounted acupuncture treatment for area residents– free acupuncture treatments for first responders through April 30th
- childcare support
- moving/transport support
- food and clothing assistance
- cleaning assistance
- airline miles for bereavement-related travel support
- counseling support
- animal boarding
- Individuals have volunteered to assist with these needs and more. There will be an attempt to address all needs that are brought forward. Please help get the word out that good people stand ready to help… and please email to OsoChapel(at)gmail.com to note how you might be able to help.
- Plans will be finalized re: a street front area INFORMATION STATION on Saturday.
- Plans will be finalized re: an Oso Chapel facility COMMUNITY CARE STATION on Saturday.
- A list of current needs will be emailed to our growing email list and area churches this Saturday evening. Please encourage area residents to share their needs. Many wish to help.
- A schedule for chaplain/counseling support options will be available Monday. In the interim, please remember that a chaplain will be at Oso Chapel tomorrow, Friday, March 28th, between 9:00 A.M. and noon, and that Pastor Gary is available to provide pastoral support.
- Those who email to OsoChapel(at)gmail.com expressing their desire to volunteer and assist in a particular area or with a particular project, will be added to a master volunteer list, and contacted when needs are presented.
- At this time, the contact numbers (to volunteer, ask questions, make suggestions and/or share a need) are 360/862-3550 and OsoChapel(at)gmail.com. An additional option will be available through the OsoChapel.com website after Sunday. Alternate contact numbers will likely come soon. Please watch your email and the Oso Chapel sign board for the latest information.
- A weekly e-newsletter will include information on the latest happenings, needs and opportunities to serve.
- A community prayer meeting in Arlington is being planned. Tentative plans are for this to be at Arlington High School next Friday evening. Details to follow in the next e-communiqué.
Thank you for your support and prayers,
-Pastor Gary Ray
4/14/14: The Herald published this great article about the work this church is doing, Oso Community Chapel is place for prayer and comfort.
Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now. -Teresa of Avila
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