Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Disaster relief

RSS By: Pastor Craig Miller

Disaster relief coordinator Pastor Craig Miller shares disaster relief information in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The volunteer challenge

Aug 20, 2014

Volunteer labor after a disaster provides much needed assistance to survivors. This is no less true for Sandy than for other disasters around the world. Volunteers were indispensible in the clean up efforts after the storm and continue to bring valuable assistance to many who would otherwise not be able to recover homes and lives.

However, unlike much of the rest of the country, New York offers its own challenges to volunteers seeking to offer their time and energy. The first challenge has been to find suitable housing for volunteer groups coming from out of the area. New York has little in the way of space. Groups usually stay on church properties but in New York those spaces are small or are occupied by programs and other users. 


A second, more significant challenge to the volunteer work force has been the extent to which jobs require permits and licenses. The need for a local license precludes those who may have skills but do not live or work in the area from donating their abilities.

In spite of these and other challenges, we continue to see organizations provide much-needed help to survivors using volunteer labor. Those volunteers come from local and national sources including church groups. Lately, these organizations have requested help finding the skilled volunteers that can help them make and even bigger impact. They seek electricians, plumbers, and roofers who are willing to give their time to help those who cannot afford to make a full recovery without them.

Let us pray for this part of our storm recovery.


disaster relief
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