Brethren Disaster Ministries Notes Accomplishments of Hurricane Katrina Response

Photo courtesy of CDS
A child in a Welcome Home Center after Hurricane Katrina

By Jane Yount

The largest and longest domestic response in Brethren Disaster Ministries history ended when the work at its sixth and final Hurricane Katrina recovery project, in St. Bernard Parish, La., was completed in June 2011. During the nearly 6-year response, Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers repaired or rebuilt homes for 531 families in 6 communities along the Gulf Coast, giving an estimated value of $6,776,416.80 in labor (2010 dollar value). Project consultants John and Mary Mueller oversaw this project for more than four years. 

From Sept. 2005 through June 2011:

— Brethren Disaster Ministries volunteers repaired and rebuilt homes in six communities affected by Hurricane Katrina: Citronelle, Ala.; Lucedale, Miss.; McComb, Miss.; Pearl River, La.; East New Orleans, La.; and Chalmette in St. Bernard Parish, La. The program also contributed to a New Orleans Ecumenical Build in cooperation with Church World Service and a number of other Christian organizations.

— The ministry served 531 families affected by the hurricane.

— Put a total of 5,737 volunteers to work at Katrina rebuilding, who gave 40,626 work days or 325,008 work hours representing a value of donated labor of $6,776,416.80.*

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS), a ministry of Brethren Disaster Services, also worked in the Gulf region in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina:

— CDS cared for children in area in the Gulf that were directly affected by the storm, as well as in places that received families displaced by the hurricane, and in New Orleans when displaced families began to return. The 12 communities where Katrina-related child support was provided are Los Angeles and San Bernardino, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; Lafayette, La.; Norfolk and Blackstone, Va.; Kingwood, W.Va.; Mobile, Ala.; Gulfport, Miss.; and the Welcome Home Center in New Orleans.

— From  Sept. 7- Oct. 27, 2005, 113 CDS volunteers cared for 2,749 children, with volunteers putting in a total of 1,122 working days.

— A year and a half later, CDS caregivers served children and families in the “Welcome Home” center in New Orleans where, from Jan. 3-Sept. 11, 2007, 61 volunteers cared for 2,097 children, putting in 933 working days.

— CDS made a total of 4,846 child contacts related to Hurricane Katrina. A total of 174 volunteers with the program served 2,055 days doing Katrina relief work, amounting to 16,440 volunteer hours valued at $342,774 in donated labor.*

Brethren Disaster Ministries Hurricane Katrina cumulative statistics
Sept. 2005-June 2011

 Location  Volunteers  Workdays  Work Hours  Families Served
 Citronelle, Ala.  141  1,020  8,160  81
 Lucedale, Miss.  809  5,167  41,336  94
 McComb, Miss.  352  2,442  19,536  52
 Pearl River, La.  773  5,654  45,232  32
 East New Orleans, La.  144  1,019  8,152  4
 Chalmette, La. (St. Bernard Parish)  3,477  25,081  200,648  257
 New Orleans Ecumenical Build  41  243  1,944  11
 Total   5,737  40,626  325,008*  531

*Value of donated labor (2010 dollar value) at $20.85 per hour = $6,776,416.80. The 2010 value of $20.25 per hour for volunteer time is based on the average hourly wage for non-agricultural workers, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, plus 12 percent for estimated benefits.

— Jane Yount up until recently was coordinator for Brethren Disaster Ministries. For more about Brethren Disaster Ministries, which is a ministry of the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service, go to www.brethren.org/bdm .

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