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Lutheran Disaster Response to Expend $8.3 Million for Hurricane Response

Date Mon, 19 Feb 2007 09:21:06 -0600

Title: Lutheran Disaster Response to Expend $8.3 Million for Hurricane Response ELCA NEWS SERVICE

February 19, 2007

Lutheran Disaster Response to Expend $8.3 Million for Hurricane Response 07-024-MRC

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- In 2007 Lutheran Disaster Response -- a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod -- is expending $8.3 million in response to the 2005 hurricane season. Since that season Lutherans have raised more than $26 million to organize and fund recovery work.

According to Lutheran Disaster Response, the 2005 hurricane season yielded 26 "named storms," 15 of which were hurricanes that caused total insured losses of more than $47 billion. Among the most powerful storms were Hurricanes Dennis, Katrina, Rita and Wilma, which caused widespread destruction in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

Lutheran Disaster Response is overseeing the expenditure of the contributions. In consultation with Lutheran social ministry organizations, annual operating budgets are prepared each calendar year, according to Heather L. Feltman, executive director, Lutheran Disaster Response, and director, ELCA Domestic Disaster Response.

Lutheran Disaster Response's core components include hardship grants -- supplemental cash grants to displaced people, spiritual and emotional care, volunteer coordination, and long- term recovery (rebuilding) and case management. Hardship grants are provided in the first 60 to 90 days after a disaster.

To help carry out its core components, Lutheran Disaster Response operates with a network of Lutheran social ministry organizations across the country. In 2005-2006 Lutheran Disaster Response provided $7.2 million to more than 20 Lutheran social ministry organizations which were assisting with the needs of survivors of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

For 2007 "the total budget projection for our 2005 hurricane response is $8.3 million," said Feltman. "The recipients of the $8.3 million will be Lutheran Social Services of the South, Inc., and Lutheran Family and Children's Services of Missouri," she said.

Lutheran Social Services of the South, Inc., Austin, Texas, "is serving Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi," said Feltman. Lutheran Family and Children's Services of Missouri, St. Louis, "is serving Alabama," she said.

Katrina Aid Today

Lutheran Disaster Response received more than $7 million from "Katrina Aid Today" -- a national case management consortium administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The funds for this were international contributions sent to the United States, Feltman said.

Case management is one of Lutheran Disaster Response's core components. The consortium includes nine nonprofit organizations working to provide long-term case management to hurricane survivors.

As one of the nine organizations, Lutheran Disaster Response is providing case management to survivors of Hurricane Katrina through eight Lutheran social ministry organizations serving Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Washington, D.C. Social ministry organizations have provided case management services to approximately 5,704 households to date through Katrina Aid Today.

A report, "Lutherans Respond: A Progress Report on the Response to the 2005 Hurricane Season" was issued in 2006 by Lutheran Disaster Response. The report is available at on the Lutheran Disaster Response Web site. - - - DOMESTIC DISASTERS:

Editors: When listing organizations receiving funds to aid 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, Illinois 60694-1764 Credit card gift line: 1-800-638-3522 Credit card gifts via Internet:

For information contact:

John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or ELCA News Blog:

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