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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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June 9, 2010

Lutheran Disaster Response provides grant for Ohio tornadoes


Lutheran Disaster Response will provide a $5,000 emergency grant to the Northwestern Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for initial response to tornadoes that struck in three counties near Toledo June 5-6.

Lutheran Disaster Response is a collaborative ministry of the ELCA and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reported seven confirmed fatalities, with two serious injuries, said Michael Nevergall, assistant director, ELCA Domestic Disaster Response. FEMA also reported 300 homes and commercial buildings suffered minor or major damage in the storms, he said.

Nevergall said Calvary Lutheran Church, Northwood, Ohio, will serve as a collection point for bottled water, light food items and a central location for volunteers working in the area. Calvary is the closest ELCA congregation to the disaster area, he said, which includes Wood, Fulton and Ottawa counties.

Mary Woodward, LDR's local coordinator, said two powerful tornadoes struck communities around Toledo, she said. One tornado had winds of up to 175 miles per hour, the Associated Press reported. Woodward is with Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio, Columbus, and is president of Ohio Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

"Since Sunday evening we've been able to provide spiritual and emotional care for families in Lake Township," she said. In addition, she said Ronald M. Matthews, Friendship Lutheran Church, Amelia, Ohio, provided spiritual and emotional care training for pastors and trained volunteers working with people in the area affected by the storms.

LDR is organizing a community prayer service June 9 at Calvary Lutheran Church , and is assisting in organizing a community-wide prayer service at Lake High School, Millbury, Ohio, Woodward said.

"We're providing trained volunteers to help with debris removal and to help with preliminary efforts to assist families without insurance to rebuild," she said.

To give: Financial gifts may be sent via the Lutheran Disaster Response website.

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