(March 26, 2007) — “Katrina survivors desperately need your help!” said today’s appeal from Brethren Disaster Response, a program of the Church of the Brethren General Board. “Now, nineteen months after the storm, tens of thousands of families are still living in FEMA trailers or in crowded living conditions with extended family members or friends. In most communities affected by Katrina, only a fraction of the homes have been repaired or rebuilt,” the communication continued.
Brethren Disaster Response volunteers rebuild or repair homes following disasters. The program currently has four active rebuilding projects in Gulf Coast areas affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Volunteers are urgently needed this spring and summer at the following Brethren Disaster Response projects:
In Chalmette, in St. Bernard Parish, La., volunteers are needed to serve the following time periods: May 20-26, May 27-June 2, June 3-9, July 8-14, July 15-21, and August 19-25.
In Pearl River, in St. Tammany Parish, La., volunteers are needed to serve the following time periods: May 27-June 2, and August 12-18.
“Brethren Disaster Response is making a difference,” reported Jane Yount, staff coordinator for the program. Her appeal included testimonials from hurricane survivors, and from volunteers who have worked at Katrina rebuilding projects.
Adam A., a survivor from Slidell, La., said this about the difference Brethren Disaster Response has made in his life: “I am living in Louisiana. We were severely impacted by Katrina and are receiving amazing help from a group of Brethren from all over the country. I am touched by their service, concern, and compassion. After feeling helpless for such a long time, and seeing these people come from out of nowhere to do the impossible to rebuild the homes and lives of my family, I am simply left speechless by what has happened…. Nowhere have I seen such compassion and sacrifice. The Brethren that I have met truly are amazing representatives of Christ and stand as the salt of the earth…. This has answered years of daily prayers and lifted a terrible burden from my shoulders.”
“A first-time volunteer named Kari wanted to tell us how grateful she was for the experience of helping,” Yount reported. Kari said, “Our week in (St. Bernard Parish) was truly one of the most memorable experiences of our lives. We so enjoyed our fellow volunteers and the project directors, not to mention all the other individuals we met along the way! We simply could not have asked for a more incredible seven days! Words cannot express how fortunate our world is to have the Brethren in it! Thank you for all you do!”
To volunteer with Brethren Disaster Response in Louisiana, contact a District Disaster Coordinator in a Church of the Brethren district, or contact the Brethren Disaster Response office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-451-4407. For more information visit http://www.brethrendisasterresponse.org/.