Send checks to ELCA Domestic Disaster Response, P.O. Box 71764, Chicago, IL 60694-1764 (designated “Gulf Coast hurricanes”). Give by credit card at (800) 638-3522 or www.elca.org/giving. One hundred percent of gifts designated for Katrina will be used for emergency and long-term recovery. Thrivent members can visit www.thrivent.com or call (800) 236-3736 to find out how the company will match every $2 donated with $1, up to a total of $2 million.
Watch www.elca.org/disaster for volunteer opportunities.
Lutheran Disaster Response isn’t usually
called on to help with search and rescue, says its director, Heather
Feltman. But when the Federal Emergency Management Agency issued a call
for help after Hurricane Katrina, Lutherans with search-and-rescue
skills—some of them retired military—were ready. And when Hurricane
Rita struck some of the same areas weeks later, the ELCA and Lutheran
Church–Missouri Synod continued to help with this work and assessed
That’s not the only thing that made these disasters different for LDR. “First, we’re dealing with a FEMA that’s now under a new Department of Homeland Security. That’s a change for the way they work,” Feltman says. “Second, we haven’t evacuated an entire U.S. city since the Civil War. Now we have and people have been displaced over thousands of miles. The level of impact on our rostered folks is unprecedented.”
So also is the response. “This church has shown an overabundance of care,” she says. At presstime, ELCA members had given more than $10 million to LDR. The money will fund a four-stage relief effort.
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