(Feb. 15, 2007) — The entire Executive Committee of the Church of the Brethren General Board is visiting Gulf coast areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, on a trip planned for Feb. 15-17.
The group will meet with Church of the Brethren disaster volunteers, staff of local longterm recovery organizations, and survivors of the storms, and will visit the Disaster Child Care site at FEMA’s Welcome Home Center in New Orleans, as well as the Brethren Disaster Response rebuilding sites in Pearl River and St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana, and in Lucedale, Miss.
The trip was organized to provide the Executive Committee with a broad overview of the Emergency Response program of the General Board, and to prompt discussion of key issues related to the work of disaster response and recovery.
The Executive Committee includes chair Jeff Neuman-Lee, vice-chair Timothy P. Harvey, Dale Minnich, Vickie Whitacre Samland, Ken Wenger, and Angela Lahman Yoder. The group will be led by Emergency Response director Roy Winter and associate director Zach Wolgemuth. Becky Ullom, director of Identity and Relations, will accompany the group.
The trip will begin in New Orleans, where in addition to visiting the Disaster Child Care project, the group also will tour the hurricane-ravaged Lower Ninth Ward.
The tour will continue with visits to Brethren Disaster Response projects in Pearl River, St. Bernard Parish, and Lucedale–where a highlight will be participating in a house dedication. A night will be spent in FEMA trailers that house volunteers working in Pearl River.
The trip will end in Florida with a visit to the offices of Rebuild Northwest Florida; Brethren Disaster Response recently concluded a project in Pensacola.
Executive Committee members Wenger and Minnich were able to travel to the area in advance of the group to spend time working at one of the Brethren Disaster Response projects.