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June 27, 2003 Lutheran Disaster Response
Contact Information:
Lutheran Disaster Response
8765 W. Higgins Rd
Chicago, IL 60631
Phone: 773-380-2822
FAX: 773-380-2493

Domestic Disaster Response Update

My dear friends in Christ,

The severe weather continues to hammer the Midwest. I spoke with Joanne Negstad (President of Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota) this morning. She and her LDR-South Dakota staff are responding to a record-setting number of tornadoes that struck in one night, destroying the town of Manchester. Meanwhile, Melanie Josephson (LDR-Minnesota coordinator) and the Southwestern Minnesota Synod are responding to tornadoes that struck the Buffalo Lake area.

I got an e-mail this week from a Lutheran pastor, asking the best way to get funds collected by the congregation to the neediest people affected this past month. The second question was how to get volunteers plugged into recovery efforts.

The answer to the first is to send funds to:

ELCA DOMESTIC Disaster Response - "Midwest Tornadoes"
PO Box 71764
Chicago, Illinois 60694-1764

Credit card gift line: 1-800-638-3522
Credit card gifts via the web

LC-MS World Relief and Human Care - "Midwest Tornadoes"
P.O. Box 66861
St. Louis, MO 63166-9810

Credit card gift line: 1-888-930-4438

Such funds will be used in a coordinated effort with interfaith and community partners, and be used to help the most vulnerable and most needy disaster survivors. Use of donations is determined by solid casework, and coordinated with other funding agencies and partners.

The answer to the second question is raised frequently. A quick way to find volunteer opportunities is on the Internet. Here are some specific websites:

Here is a specific listing of volunteer opportunities. Naturally, these needs and opportunities change daily.

ELCA Domestic Disaster Response, through Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR; a cooperative ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod), is beginning and continuing rebuilding operations at many sites throughout the country. Your help is important in meeting the urgent needs in these places. Please consider sharing your time and skills with those who seriously need your help.

Area: Plateau Region
Type of construction needs anticipated: grounds cleanup (i.e., chainsaw removal of trees and limbs), repairs and renovations
Tools needed: basic carpentry tools, chainsaws
Materials needed: provided on site
Group size: 3-5 preferred; larger groups welcome
Ratio kids: adults: minors okay with adequate adult supervision
Length of stay: a week or series of 3 days or more
Dates: now through summer
Housing: possibly provided
Transportation: must provide own
Food: some meals provided
Contact: David Acres at 865-882-6446 (wk), 423-346-8700 (hm), 865-617-6417 (cell)

Volunteers needed for damage assessment and flood repairs immediately.
Area: Chattanooga
Contact: John Sims, Lutheran Services of Tennessee at 423-870-4764
Area: Madison/Jackson
Type of construction needs anticipated: home repairs, carpentry, roofing
Tools needed: basic carpentry tools (i.e. hammers, levels, saws, etc)
Group size: no minimum or maximum; skilled and unskilled needed
Age: 15 and older
Ratio youth: adults: 6:1
Length of stay: flexible
Other: housing. transportation, and food may be provided depending on availability
Contact: Joe Moseley at 731-664-8480 or 1-800-908-8621

Type of construction needs anticipated: framing, trimming, sheet rocking, painting, roofing, electrical if licensed
Tools needed: personal tools if you can travel with them
Group size: no minimum or maximum
Ratio kids: adults: 5:1
Length of stay: 3 day minimum
Housing: school dorms, houses, or camps, depending on group size
Transportation: possibly
Food: some meals provided by churches; inexpensive meals available at university cafeteria
Contact: Hal Shope at 601-924-7116;

Volunteers needed in all phases of construction for twelve projects.
Area: Kerrville
Type of construction needs anticipated: all
Group size: 15 or less
Age: 16 and older
Ratio kids: adults: 4:1
Length of stay: flexible
Housing: available
Food: not provided
Contact: Tom Jones at 830-257-5033

Rebuilding efforts from Tropical Storm Allison continue in Houston. Skilled volunteers are being coordinated by the Disaster Recovery Interfaith.
Area: Houston
Type of construction needs anticipated: tearing our sheet rocking, carpentry, installing windows, rebuilding, etc.
Group size: 5-7; skilled/semi-skilled
Age: 15 and older
Length of stay: a week
Other: Tools, housing, transportation, and food will all be provided.
Contact: Debbie Antoon at 713-874-6654 or 713-874-6787 (cell);

Area: Polk County
Type of construction needs anticipated: debris clean-up in farm fields and replacement of roof shingles
Group size: no minimum or maximum
Age: small children are discouraged
Length of stay: flexible
Materials needed: work gloves, bug spray
Attire: heavy footwear, long pants, long sleeve shirt
Housing: possibly provided
Food: must provide own
Ratio youth: adults: 10:1
Contact: Sandy McEntire at 417-777-5742 (hm); 417-777-6927 (wk)

Skilled volunteers needed.
Area: Roseau County
Type of construction needs anticipated: home repairs, carpentry
Tools needed: nailguns, screwguns, etc.
Group size: no minimum or maximum; skilled in carpentry
Age: 18 years and older
Length of stay: flexible
Housing: available
Contact: Shonda, North Border Interfaith Coalition at 218-463-3373

Thank you for your continuing prayers and support for the disaster response ministries of the church.

Yours in Christ,

Gil Furst

Gilbert B. Furst (written on June 27, 2003 p.m.). Director for ELCA Domestic Disaster Response (Division for Church in Society) and Lutheran Disaster Response (a cooperative ministry of the ELCA and LC-MS) 8765 W. Higgins Rd., Chicago 60631 PHONE: 773-380-2822 FAX: 773-380-2493 Please visit our new website