Disasters tend to be a time when people within a community pull together; churches and other places of worship provide a center for such community activities, and even serve as shelters in times of emergencies. Also, because religious organizations tend to hold charitable virtue as a primary tenet of their faiths and missions, they tend to be at the forefront of mobilizing and providing community-based assistance in times of emergency or disaster.
In the United States, these organizations include (but are not limited to):
• Adventist Community Services (ACS)
• Catholic Charities USA Disaster Response
• The Christian Disaster Response (CDR)
• The Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC)
• The Church of the Brethren Disaster Response
• Church World Service (CWS) Disaster Response
• The Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop's Fund for World Relief
• The Friends Disaster Service (FDS)
• The International Relief Friendship Foundation (IRFF)
• The International Association of Jewish Vocational Services (IAJVS)
• The Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR)
• Mennonite Disaster Services
• The Salvation Army
• The Society of St. Vincent De Paul
• The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
• The UJA Federations of North America
• The United Methodist Committee on Relief
If you are affiliated with a place of worship or a particular faith, chances are that you will find out more about disaster relief efforts, when you are needed, and how you can help. If you are not already affiliated with such a group, you can still work with or through local churches, temples, meeting houses and mosques to join the community response to disasters.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|