Source: USA Today
BY Paul Singer, USA TODAY
If you donate bottles of water, diapers, clothing or any other materials to hurricane victims in Texas or Florida, your donation will likely pass through the hands of the Seventh Day Adventists before it gets to a storm victim.
That’s because the Adventists, over several decades, have established a unique expertise in disaster “warehousing” collecting, logging, organizing and distributing relief supplies, in cooperation with government disaster response agencies.
Likewise, the United Methodist Committee on Relief is known for its expertise in “case management.” After the initial cleanup — where the Methodists have work crews helping pull mud out of houses — the church sends trained volunteers into the wreckage to help families navigate the maze of FEMA assistance, state aid programs and private insurance to help them rebuild their lives. UMCOR also trains other non-profits to send their own case managers into the disaster zone.
In a disaster, churches don’t just hold bake sales to raise money or collect clothes to send to victims; faith-based organizations are integral partners in state and federal disaster relief efforts. They have specific roles and a sophisticated communication and coordination network to make sure their efforts don’t overlap or get in each others’ way.