Each participating organization provided one-third of the funding toward the purchase of a trailer stocked with disaster-response equipment and supplies.
Originally, the plan was to provide 20 grants. But after negotiating a group-purchasing agreement and doing additional fundraising, LCMS Disaster Response was able to give out 26 grants. The $80,000 received from the LWML has been multiplied into nearly $280,000.
At the time of this report, the trailers were being outfitted and the tools shipped to the grant recipients. These groups have agreed to maintain and use the equipment for mercy work throughout the year and for disaster response when the need arises. Many of the organizations have already received their training or will receive it in the near future.
By providing disaster-response trailers, the capacity of our districts and their congregations to respond in times of disaster has been greatly multiplied. The trailers allow groups to quickly provide volunteers for debris cleanup after hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and other disasters. In this way, they are able to reach out with Christ’s mercy and bring relief and comfort.
Mercy is a hallmark of the Church. Throughout history, Christians have been known by the world as generous people, whose good works are motivated by their faith in God. Disasters, while terrible, are a time when the Church can truly care for the greatest treasures of this world — people.
Those who benefit most are individuals who would struggle most after a terrible natural disaster, especially the elderly and single-parent families. As they are assisted, they are directed to the altars, pulpits and fonts of local congregations, where they can receive the forgiveness of sins and care for the soul, even while they receive care for the body.
- 26 trailers have been or are being purchased to be deployed in 21 districts.
- More than 14,000 individuals have been trained as Lutheran Early Response Team volunteers.