Disaster projects in New York, Alabama, Virginia are extended


Church of the Brethren Newsline
July 26, 2012

House under construction at Brethren Disaster Ministries project site in Pulaski, Va.
Photo by Brethren Disaster Ministries
A house under construction at the Brethren Disaster Ministries project site in Pulaski, Va.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has announced a decision to extend the timeline for three of its disaster rebuilding project sites. The projects in Prattsville, N.Y., and Town Creek, Ala., will be extended through October, and the site in Pulaski, Va., will continue through September.

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Projects are staffed primarily by groups of volunteers from the Church of the Brethren districts, who typically spend a week working at a disaster site. District groups are invited to contact coordinator Jane Yount at the Brethren Disaster Ministries office in New Windsor, Md., to schedule volunteer groups. Call her at 800-451-4407.

The project at Arab, Ala., was completed and closed as of the end of June. Volunteer groups scheduled to work at that site have been rescheduled to other sites.

The project in Prattsville, N.Y., is repairing homes destroyed by floods following Hurricane Irene, which pummeled the East Coast on Aug. 27-28 last year. The storm brought the worst flash flooding in memory to the small town of Prattsville in the Catskills, in a low-income region of New York. Nearly 300 homes were covered by floodwater, and many of the affected residents are uninsured or elderly. The Brethren Disaster Ministries project in Prattsville opened July 1.

The Town Creek project in Lawrence County, Ala., also opened July 1. Brethren Disaster Ministries is assisting survivors of an EF5 tornado that plowed across the county last year on April 27. It claimed 14 lives and wiped away entire neighborhoods. The current caseload at the project includes replacement of roofs and the building of new homes.

The Pulaski, Va., project is in response to two tornadoes that struck on April 8, 2011. This project has been extended because Brethren Disaster Ministries has accepted an assignment to build one more new home. Volunteers are engaged in completing one home and will start the final new building as soon as the foundation is put in.

In related news, on July 5 the “Arab Tribune” ran articles about the Brethren Disaster Ministries work and dedication of completed homes in Arab, Ala. Articles focused on the dedication of a home for James "Mike" and Brenda Casey. The dedication ceremony was led by Brethren project leader Dennis Minick, the newspaper reported. "Lord God,” Minick said, “today is a day of rejoicing. There is a home that has just been built, and it is our desire to dedicate this dwelling place to you.” The volunteers presented the Casey family with a Bible, a candle, and a plant as reminders of the gifts of God. “Brenda cried with joy,” the newspaper said. Find the article at www.thearabtribune.com/articles/2012/07/06/news/news7.txt . An overview of Brethren Disaster Ministries work in Arab is at www.thearabtribune.com/articles/2012/07/05/news/news10.txt . A video from WAAY ABC TV is at www.waaytv.com/mediacenter/local.aspx?videoid=3586519 .

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