From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Lutheran Disaster Response Distributes Grants for Disasters

From news@ELCA.ORG
Date 07 Feb 2001 14:32:56


February 7, 2001


     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Lutheran Disaster Response, a ministry of the
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church-
Missouri Synod (LCMS), has distributed about $500,000 this month to support 
extended recovery efforts and preparation for possible disasters in the United 
States and U.S. Virgin Islands.
     Grants provided by Lutheran Disaster Response help "continue
response to long-term needs and to prepare for new disasters this year,"
said the Rev. Gilbert B. Furst, director for Lutheran Disaster Response.
     Response to a disaster is often characterized by a local response
team providing emergency supplies, offering pastoral care and
counseling, coordinating volunteer efforts in relief and rebuilding, and
providing grants to victims.  This response is coordinated with other
interfaith and community efforts.
     Lutheran Family Services in North Carolina received $260,000,
Furst said. Recovery efforts continue in the state after Hurricane Floyd
killed 52 people in an area from the Bahamas to New England and caused
destruction in eight states in September 1999.
     Funds will help secure materials and staff needed to continue
relief efforts in North Carolina for the next three months.  Of the
$260,000, $140,000 will be used to direct interfaith cooperation there
between members of the ELCA and the Christian Reformed Church, Church of
the Brethren and Reformed Church of America.
     Lutheran Social Services in St. Croix, V.I., received $100,000 to
help make home structures "hurricane-proof," particularly homes for
people living in poverty, the elderly and people with disabilities,
Furst said.  During a disaster, "it is always the poor who are hit the
hardest," he said.
     The grant will aid St. Croix and St. Thomas, V.I., residents
engaged in mitigation work, and help pastors purchase hand-held radios
if communication breaks down during a disaster, Furst said.  Funds will
also benefit disaster preparation work, recovery efforts and case
workers who address human needs, he said.
     Camp Noah, a week-long day camp for children who have survived
floods and other weather disasters, received $42,000.  Lutheran Disaster
Response created Camp Noah in 1997, when heavy winter storms produced
floods in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.  Since then, the day
camp has expanded into Kansas, North Carolina and Oklahoma.
     "The funds will continue to develop Camp Noah, which supports
children who have experienced disaster," said Furst.
     Lutheran Social Services in Florida received $30,000 as "seed
money for quick response," said Furst.   "Hurricane season is
approaching and drought conditions in the state may produce fires.  The
grant will help staff and volunteers deal with disaster preparation," he
     Lutheran Family Services in Oregon and in Washington received more
than $22,000 to help fund disaster-related programs such as "Moses
Movers," designed to transport supplies in pick-up trucks after
disaster, and the Native American Liaison for Disaster Response in
     Drought conditions in the prairie areas of Oregon can produce
fire, Furst said.  Funds will support disaster preparation efforts,
maintenance and response there, he said.
-- -- --

When listing organizations receiving funds for aid to survivors of major
disasters inside the United States, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin
Islands, please include:

ELCA Domestic Disaster Response
P.O. Box 71764
Chicago, IL  60694-1764

For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or NEWS@ELCA.ORG

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