EDF Announces Grants, New Disaster Project to Start in Alabama

Photo by Clara Nelson
Participants in a summer workcamp were some of the Brethren volunteers who put in 1,000 workdays and completed 26 repair jobs at the Brentwood, Tenn., project site of Brethren Disaster Ministries. For more photos from Church of the Brethren workcamps this past summer go to www.brethren.org/album.

The Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) of the Church of the Brethren has announced a number of grants. One is funding start-up of a new Brethren Disaster Ministries project site in northeast Alabama, in the area of Arab.

An EDF allocation of $30,000 provides funding to start a disaster rebuilding site in Arab, struck by a tornado during the “2011 Super Outbreak.” The largest and most destructive tornado outbreak ever recorded on April 25-28 spawned 336 tornadoes in 21 states, claiming 346 lives. The tornado in the Arab area was an EF4 (winds up to 200 miles per hour) and was on the ground for 50 miles. Numerous homes were affected.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has been invited to serve in Arab by repairing and rebuilding homes, working closely with a local long-term recovery group. The Brethren Disaster Ministries caseload includes 12 roof repairs and the building of two new homes, with more cases likely to be identified as work begins. The project site is expected to be active at the end of November.

An EDF grant of $30.000 continues support for a Tennessee flood recovery project of Brethren Disaster Ministries in Cheatham County and surrounding areas. A $19,000 grant continues support for a related project site in Brentwood, Tenn.

In May 2010, devastating floods caused widespread damage to Nashville and surrounding counties. Thousands were left homeless as dozens of trailer home parks were completely destroyed, and neighborhoods of traditional homes flooded up to the roofline. Many were not in identified flood plains and, as a consequence, flood insurance coverage was minimal.

In January, Brethren Disaster Ministries established a project in Ashland City, Tenn., to serve flood-affected residents in Cheatham County. This project is expected to continue through early spring 2012. Working closely with the county longterm recovery committee, Brethren have completed building two new homes, are in process of a third, and have worked on 14 other homes with varied degrees of repair or reconstruction. This project will take on two new buildings started by the Brentwood, Tenn., site as that project closes later this fall. To date more than 3,500 volunteer work days have been given serving the needs in Cheatham County.

Brethren Disaster Ministries established the Brentwood project outside of Nashville in June. Working closely with local long-term recovery organizations, volunteers have been doing mostly repair work in the Bellevue area, mainly for families still in need of permanent housing more than a year after the floods. Plans are to close this project before the end of the year. Volunteers giving at least 1,000 workdays have completed 26 repair jobs so far.

An EDF grant of $25,000 has been given following heavy rains, flooding, and landslides in Central America. The grant supports partners in El Salvador and Honduras who are providing emergency aid and helping with long-term recovery for the most vulnerable displaced families. The amount of $10,000 is going to Proyecto Aldea Global in Honduras, and $6,000 to Emmanuel Baptist Church in El Salvador. The remaining $9,000 will be transferred based on effectiveness of each partner’s relief work and program focused on long-term recovery.

An EDF grant of $3,000 completes funding for the work of Children’s Disaster Services in Joplin following the EF 5 tornado that devastated the town on May 22. The CDS response in Joplin, where teams of volunteers worked in FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers as well as with the American Red Cross, over-spent its initial grant.

For more about the work of the Emergency Disaster Fund go to www.brethren.org/edf.

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