The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Disaster dollars fund healing

In March, The Lutheran reported that as of Jan. 4, Lutheran Disaster Relief-New York had distributed only $720,000 of $7.4 million collected. Director John Scibilia said then that the majority had not yet been spent in an effort to "meet needs after government programs have run out."

He preaches the same word today: "Our intent is to not write checks if the money is available from somewhere else. That's why we haven't run out of money."

Almost $8.4 million was contributed to LDRNY from October 2001 through April 2002 (the last available numbers). The total committed by LDRNY through Dec. 31, 2002, is $4.5 million. Here is the breakdown:

  • Emergency assistance (through Project LIFE and emergency gifts made by the ELCA Metropolitan New York Synod bishop and the LCMS Atlantic District president): $1.25 million.
  • Counseling and support (through Lutheran Counseling Centers): $500,000. 
  • Children and families (through the New Ground day camps and assistance to staff and students of 200 Lutheran schools in the New York City area): $1.3 million.
  • Care for the caregivers (respite, training and resources for ELCA and LCMS church workers): $522,000.
  • Expansion and enrichment of established programs (such as Lutheran Social Services) to meet new needs: $612,000.
  • LDRNY (administration): $325,000.

In addition, Aid Association for Lutherans (now part of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans) gave a restricted $630,265 to be used for September Space, Comfort and Renew grants and tuition assistance for families in Lutheran schools.


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