Grants Support Response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita

Church of the Brethren Newsline
August 21, 2007

Two grants totaling $29,000 have been given from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund to support continuing rebuilding work following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The Brethren Disaster Ministries program received an additional allocation of $25,000 to support its Hurricane Katrina rebuilding site in Chalmette, La. The funds will provide travel expenses for disaster volunteers, leadership training, tools and equipment, food and housing, and some building supplies.

An allocation of $4,000 supports the Southeast Texas Interfaith Organization, an interfaith and interracial coalition of congregations and faith-based service organizations assisting survivors of Hurricane Rita in southeast Texas. The grant will support ongoing disaster response operations at the Port Arthur Recovery Project that is managed by the organization.

In other news from the Church of the Brethren’s disaster relief programs, Brethren Disaster Ministries continues rebuilding work in two locations in Louisiana, the towns of Chalmette and Pearl River. “We have been asked by the local recovery groups to stay at these two locations through 2008,” reported Brethren Disaster Ministries coordinator Jane Yount.

The other two Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding projects that were active this year, in the towns of Lucedale and McComb, Miss., are both now closed. “We had a wonderful response for those projects, and much was accomplished,” Yount said. “In Lucedale, over 800 volunteers assisted 87 families. In McComb, about 350 volunteers served 47 families.”

The program has issued an urgent call for volunteers to fill a cancellation in the schedule at the Chalmette project for the week of Sept. 23-29. To volunteer, call the Brethren Disaster Ministries office at 800-451-4407 or contact a district disaster coordinator.

Yount also called for prayer for those affected by Hurricane Dean, which affected Jamaica, Haiti, and other Caribbean islands, as well as Mexico and Belize. “We are now in the throes of hurricane season, with five named storms already,” she reminded disaster responders. “Pray for the safety of all who live in the path of this potentially dangerous storm,” she said.

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The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Jon Kobel contributed to this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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