Somebody Cares America is standing by to assist in relief efforts for the recent flooding in New England. News reports are calling it the region’s worst flooding in nearly 70 years, with more than a foot of rain falling in some areas since the downpour began this weekend.

The worst of the flooding has been in Lowell MA, the home base for the recently-formed Somebody Cares Greater Lowell, and nearby Haverhill, where we operate Somebody Cares New England. Marlene Yeo from SC New England and Cindi Wester from SC Lowell are in contact with local churches, fire departments, and other agencies to assess needs. “They are thrilled that Somebody Cares is so ready, willing and able,” said Marlene.

Ironically, Marlene and Cindy were among 40 representatives from over 30 organizations participating just last week in a Disaster Response & Preparedness Think Tank convened by Somebody Cares America in the Washington D.C. area.

“The Think Tank was so incredible and was so helpful in preparing us for this,” Marlene said.

“Who can believe that just one week after returning from our conference, Lowell and Haverhill are underwater,” Cindi said, adding that rivers have crested as the result of five days of rain and 1000 people have been evacuated from Lowell. “We may have to open our ‘shelter’ just to help the city.”

Last July, Cindi and Marlene attended the Somebody Cares America/International conference held in Houston, which birthed in Cindi the desire to start an official Somebody Cares chapter in Lowell and to become prepared for emergencies. Since that time, SC Greater Lowell has trained 40 individuals in CERT emergency training and prepared to set up an emergency shelter at Community Christian Fellowship of Lowell, one of our Somebody Cares America affiliate churches.

“Please pray for us,” she continued. “We are trained, but with no real hands on experience. At least we are not dealing with medical trauma.”

A damaged water main in Haverhill dumped sewage into the water system, she said, so both cities may be without drinking water for a few days. Schools have been out of session and will likely remain that way for the rest of the week.

“How mighty is our God that less than a year ago—on the plane back from the conference in Houston—that the Lord spoke to me and said ‘get emergency training.’ How I love that He talks to us!” Cindi said.

Somebody Cares is a network of Christ-centered/church-based ministries operating across the U.S. and internationally, empowering existing hands-on ministries who are doing the daily work of compassion and outreach to their communities. “Isn’t it interesting how God prepares and positions the Church for times like this,” said the Somebody Cares America founder and president Doug Stringer. “Because of the relational equity with our existing network of chapters, affiliates, and ministries, we have people already on-ground 24/7 and ready to respond. Whenever something happens, Somebody Cares is there, because Jesus cares.”

Last year, Somebody Cares America was instrumental in assisting over 165 ministries and churches throughout Texas and the Gulf Coast with financial and material assistance for thousands of individuals affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

“This is a fire drill for us compared to what New Orleans and Texas have been through last year,” Marlene said. “We are definitely aware with GREATER understanding of what needs to happen here to be better prepared. This experience is giving us an in-roads on how to serve the cities in a greater way as well as expanding the ‘net that works.’”

For those who have contacted the SCA office in Houston, we will continue to pass on reports as we get them on how to assist Somebody Cares New England.

CONTACT:      Doug Stringer or Belinda Thacker 713-621-1498


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