ELCA Lutheran Disaster Responsehttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/Nepal Earthquake: Six Months LaterThe Rev. Daniel Rifthttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/314http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/314<div class="ExternalClassC6383BE2562C41648D658DF905F18399"><p>​<span style="font-size&#58;11pt;line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Dear friend in Christ, <br> <br> We remember and pray for all those affected by the Nepal earthquakes six months ago. Two powerful earthquakes struck the country, with hundreds of aftershocks, killing more than 8,500 and leaving millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance. As a church, through Lutheran Disaster Response, we have been and will continue to respond to the immediate and long-term needs of the people of Nepal.<br> <a href="http&#58;//bit.ly/1OiV30x"><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Nepal-6Month-FB.jpg" alt="Nepal-6Month-FB.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;350px;" /></a><br> Lutheran Disaster Response works with an extensive network of partners who are actively engaged with communities on the ground. Within days after the first earthquake, we were able to respond to those affected. And six months later, we are still there, continuing our work with The Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief and United Mission to Nepal.<br> <br> <a href="http&#58;//bit.ly/1OiV30x">The Nepal&#58; six months later</a> resource provides stories and more detail into our immediate response and a look toward the long-term work being carried out.<br> <br> Through your prayers and financial support, you helped bring hope and healing to our Nepal neighbors in their time of need. <strong><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">Thank you.</span></strong> Please continue to pray for and support the people of Nepal as they continue to not only rebuild their homes, but their lives as well. <br> <br> Sincerely,</span></p><p><img src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Dan%20Signature.jpg" alt="Dan Signature.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></p><br>The Rev. Daniel Rift<br>Director, ELCA World Hunger and Disaster Appeal<br> <p><strong><span style="font-size&#58;11pt;line-height&#58;115%;font-family&#58;&quot;arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;;">P.S. Share this <a href="http&#58;//bit.ly/1OiV30x">resource</a> or <a href="http&#58;//download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/NepalEarthquake_6mo_BI_102615.pdf?_ga=1.125026633.256740422.1443728968">bulletin insert</a> with your congregation as we continue to walk with our brothers and sisters still recovering from the Nepal earthquakes.</span></strong><br></p><p><br></p><p><br></p></div>11/02/2015ELCA members offer support for those impacted by California wildfiresELCA News Servicehttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/313http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/313<div class="ExternalClassC6777D2936ED43DBAA34AD8B8989542B"><p><strong>CHICAGO (ELCA) –</strong> Some members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) affected by wildfires in Northern California said that their faith, family and friends sustained them during a difficult time.</p><p class="MsoNormal">“God and my faith and my family and friends got me through,” said Craig Waters, a member of Galilee Lutheran Church in Kelseyville, Calif., who lost his home in Anderson Springs, a community near Middletown. He said about 180 of the 200 homes in his neighborhood were destroyed. “The neighborhood is wiped out but the spirit is still there. There is definitely a resurrection feeling. All of our stuff is gone, everything is wiped out, but it hasn’t killed the spirit,” said Waters, whose family has been in the community for several generations.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="Picture of destructions by Bp Mark.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Picture%20of%20destructions%20by%20Bp%20Mark.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;265px;" /><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><em></em></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><em>Devastations caused by the Valley Fire</em></span><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Two fires, which started days apart in September, burned more than 200 square miles and are estimated to have caused almost $2 billion in damage. Six people died and thousands of people evacuated from their homes. The Valley fire, located about 90 miles north of San Francisco, destroyed almost 2,000 structures including nearly 1,300 homes. In addition to Waters, two other families from Galilee Lutheran lost their homes in the fire.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Robert Hamilton, a lay leader from Galilee, said the congregation is helping out in the community by collecting money, donating their time at shelters and at workshops focused on surviving trauma. “It’s about us going out into the community and helping wherever we can,” he said. Hamilton said much of what is needed in the first few weeks is helping people regain stability in their lives. “A lot of kids are going to school in places that are not their home school, but they’re going somewhere. The bus routes are all disrupted. People are scattered everywhere. So just trying to get the kids stable and feeling like everything is OK again. It’s tough,” he said. Hamilton said an effort is underway to help provide students with backpacks, school supplies and athletic equipment – “things the students are used to having but now all that stuff is gone.”</p><p class="MsoNormal">On Oct. 11, the congregation celebrated its 50th anniversary. Plans for a celebration had been in the works for over a year and Hamilton said the gathering was “an opportunity to see that life goes on” and also a reminder of what means most to the community during this time. “The care of the spirit is something we hope we don’t lose once the tragic aspect of (the fire) goes away. People have really come together to help each other out,” he said.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="Picture of destructions by Bp Mark 2.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Picture%20of%20destructions%20by%20Bp%20Mark%202.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;268px;" /></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><em></em></span><span><span><span style="font-size&#58;12px;"><em>Destructions caused by the Valley Fire</em></span></span></span> <em>in Lake County, CA</em><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">The Rev. Mark Holmerud, bishop of the ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod, attended the congregation’s celebration and also toured the fire-damaged area. “Growing up in Southern California, I thought I had seen fire damage before,” wrote Holmerud in a Facebook post describing his visit. “But the Valley fire grew more than 50,000 acres in twenty-four hours, or 25 acres per minute. It was clear from the damage we saw today that there was no way to ‘stand your ground’ to protect your home, no way to drive to safety if you waited too long to evacuate.”</p><p class="MsoNormal">Mountain Ranch Lutheran in Mountain Ranch and Faith Lutheran in Murphys are two ELCA congregations located in the area of the Butte fire, which destroyed about 71,000 acres in Amador and Calaveras counties. Five families from Mountain Ranch lost their homes, including William Jungemann, who evacuated his home on Sept. 10. When he returned to the area one week later, he found that his home had been destroyed by the fire. “In the long run I got out of there with my life and we got all our animals out of there and everything else is a plus. We have something to go on with,” said Jungemann.</p><p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="Destructions near Mountain Ranch 1.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Destructions%20near%20Mountain%20Ranch%201.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;300px;" /></p><p class="MsoNormal"><em style="font-size&#58;12px;">The Butte Fire burns everything to the ground near Mountain Ranch, CA</em><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Rob Westerhoff, president of Faith Lutheran, said his congregation is assessing the situation and is ready to help wherever needed. One of the members is a real estate agent and is helping to find temporary housing for families in the community who lost their homes. On Oct. 15, Westerhoff and Holmerud traveled through the areas affected by the Butte fire. “Much as I saw on my tour of the damage caused by the Valley fire in Lake County, the damage from the Butte fire was almost too much to take in. We saw many burned out homes, cars, and other structures. The devastation this fire has caused to thousands of people was all around us,” wrote Holmerud in a Facebook post. “It will take 12 to 18 months – if everything goes as well as possible – for these families to rebuild their homes. Counselors and therapists are on hand at schools and community centers to help with the sense of loss, grief, depression and post-traumatic-stress syndrome counseling.”</p><p class="MsoNormal"><img alt="Staging area for relief near Mountain Ranch -2.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/Staging%20area%20for%20relief%20near%20Mountain%20Ranch%20-2.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;257px;" /></p><p class="MsoNormal"><em style="font-size&#58;12px;">Assistance is available from various levels of government for immediate relief but is often insufficient to address&#160;the needs of the most&#160;vulnerable&#160;ones in the long term recovery phase of a disaster </em><br></p><p class="MsoNormal">Lutheran Disaster Response is working with Lutheran Social Services of Northern California to provide care and comfort to those whose lives have been impacted by the fires, focusing on long-term need. “This process is about being the church and doing what we do best – being faithful and walking with people in need,” said Nancy Nielsen, deputy director of Lutheran Social Services of Northern California. “We need to be present, to listen and to respond thoughtfully. “We are in the process of transitioning from the response and relief stage to the recovery stage,” said Nielsen. “The recovery will be a very long process. It’s a marathon and not a sprint. It will take years, requiring a lot of patience and perseverance.”</p><p class="MsoNormal">Holmerud ended his Oct. 11 Facebook post asking for prayers. “Prayers for all whose lives have been forever changed by the Valley and Butte fires. Prayers for the firefighters and first responders who risked their lives to save many more homes than the number which were destroyed.” “I’m feeling the prayers,” said Waters. “I don’t know how people get through things like this without faith. I guess they do, but I don’t know how.”</p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/US-Wildfires">Please consider supporting the response in Northern California by visiting the Lutheran Disaster Response giving page.</a><a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse"><br> </a></p><p class="MsoNormal"><a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/LutheranDisasterResponse">Follow Lutheran Disaster Response on Facebook</a>.<br></p></div>10/22/2015Helping Our Neighbors in Denny TerraceMartin Luther Quick, TEEM Candidate and Mission Developer of Impact, Northeast Columbiahttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/312http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/312<div class="ExternalClassD37EE6954AAB4E1F8C6A9DB97AE47D37"><p>​<em>This is an article reprinted from the South Carolina Synod website.</em><br></p><p>Over 5.6 trillion gallons of water fell on South Carolina. They called it the 1000 year storm. My family was blessed because our home was unscathed. Our family members were safe but I yearned to help my fellow neighbors.</p><p>We went to check on a church in Denny Terrace and were hit by detour after detour because of washed away roads and breached dams. On our journey down the back roads of North Columbia, we saw remnants of the storm everywhere. Trees strewn all over the roads, debris in the yards and abandoned cars with large orange X's were all along our path. We saw community members helping each other remove memories from their waterlogged homes. Then, we spotted the man along Crane Creek Road lying in a ditch. He explained that since there was no bus and he had no car, he had to walk, he had fallen into the ditch and may have remained there if we had not passed by. What are the chances that 3 Ministers would be in the car? God was certainly in the midst.</p><p>The further we drove, the more we realized the tremendous need in the area. We loaded up the truck and started<span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> delivering water throughout the community. Who knew that the same water that we drank so freely the week before would be such a commodity. We delivered more than 200 cases of water. While in the community, the one on one conversations revealed the tremendous need that still <span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>exist. Houses <span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>had been completely covered in<span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span> water and businesses completely destroyed.<span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><img alt="ginny-flood-6-300x225.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/ginny-flood-6-300x225.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;" /></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p><p>We opened the doors of Christ Mission, a synodically authorized worshiping community, and began accepting donations and distributing the items to the community. While helping the residents with the FEMA applications, we began hearing the stories of the residents who had to be rescued from their attic, picked up by boat, and swam to safety. We helped an elderly man who owned his home and 2 mobile hom<span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"></span></span></span></span></span></span></span>es, when that was complete he brought his tenant who was deaf and could not speak. 2 hours later, we had his application completed but realized that there were so many services that were needed in the community that were not being provided.</p><p>As a mission developer, my favorite scripture is Acts 2&#58;44-47 <em>&quot;All who believed were together and had all things i</em><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"></span></span></span></span></span><em>n common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.&quot;</em> As long as there is a need in the community, the church will be pres<span id="part1"><span><span id="part1"></span></span></span>ent in the community re-presenting Christ.</p><p><a href="http&#58;//scsynod.com/news/please-prayerfully-consider-a-gift-to-assist-those-in-need">Find out more about how you can help here.</a><br></p><p>There are many more he<span id="part1"></span>artwarming stories of how members of the South Carolina Synod accompany survivors of the South Carolina flooding through their congregations and the synod, <a href="http&#58;//scsynod.com/">go to the South Carolina Synod website.</a><br></p><p>Also visit the <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/en/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/US-Flooding">Lutheran Disaster Response website</a> and Facebook page for more information.</p></div>10/17/2015Nepal Earthquake: More than $1.9 million given for responseMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/311http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/311<div class="ExternalClassF2FD1699C4074720962E60743720E96B"><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><p>​<span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;">Thanks to your generosity, Lutheran Disaster Response has collected more than $1.9 million to respond directly to the Nepal Area Earthquakes. Together, we were able to provide $527,700 to respond to the immediate needs of the people and communities affected, and we will continue to walk with our brothers and sisters in Nepal to rebuild lives and livelihoods as long-term response projects get underway. </span></p><p>&#160;We continue to work with our trusted partners, The Lutheran World Federation, Lutheran World Relief and United Mission to Nepal, to respond and provide assistance in the affected areas. Immediate response efforts have been in action since the day after the earthquake and many emergency distributions have been completed.</p><p><strong>The Lutheran World Federation</strong></p><p>Working with The Lutheran World Federation, we have distributed shelter repair materials, ready-to-eat food, blankets and hygiene kits to more than 21,000 households in 27 towns and villages in Nepal. Next phases of response are being rolled out, which includes distributing corrugated iron sheets in addition to tarps for families to use for shelter repair against the heavy monsoon rains.</p><p>&#160;<span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;">While recovery of physical property is important for the safety of families who were affected by the earthquakes, care for the all-around well-being of those impacted is something that cannot be overlooked. With The Lutheran World Federation, we will provide community-based psychosocial support that will reach approximately 14,000 people. Working with community leaders, community-based psychosocial support will help people build their strength and build resilience in their villages, which will help improve their coping mechanisms.&#160; These community-led groups will be able to serve as sustainable structures that will continue to help improve life for people who face hard times as recovery from the disaster moves into the future. </span></p><p><img alt="LWF_RMD_Bhirkot_Dolakha-04.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/LWF_RMD_Bhirkot_Dolakha-04.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;232px;" />&#160;</p><p><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;font-size&#58;9pt;">Lutheran World&#160;Federation (LWF)&#160;delivers&#160;relief supplies&#160;in <font color="#1f497d">Bhirkot Dolakha area, Nepal</font>&#160;</span></p><p>&#160;<img alt="LWF_relief materials distribution-03.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/LWF_relief%20materials%20distribution-03.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;438px;" /></p><p><span style="font-family&#58;&quot;segoe ui&quot;,&quot;segoe&quot;,tahoma,helvetica,arial,sans-serif;"><strong></strong>&#160;<span style="font-size&#58;9pt;">Lutheran World Federation (LWF) workers <span style="color&#58;#1f497d;">distribute relief materials&#160;in Bhirkot Dolakha area, Nepal</span></span></span></p><p><strong>Lutheran World Relief</strong></p><p>Together with Lutheran World Relief, we have provided temporary shelter and emergency food assistance to nearly 30,700 individuals. Nearly 10,000 quilts, 1,000 personal care kits and 100 water filtration units have also been distributed. As we move into the next phase of recovery, soybean seeds are being distributed to families who rely on agricultural livelihoods to help support the livelihood recovery and food security after the monsoon season passes. In addition, a cash-for-work program focusing on repairing roads throughout the rural areas is being implemented. The program will not only provide families with much needed cash but will also help improve road conditions in the region.</p><p><strong>United Mission to Nepal</strong></p><p>Working with United Mission to Nepal, all planned distributions of emergency food, kitchen utensils, tarps and blankets in Dahding district of Nepal have been completed. Community-based health trainings have also taken place in three Village Development Committees in Dhading. </p><p>&#160;Moving to long-term response, we are working with United Mission to Nepal to support 90 families that are members of a savings and credit cooperative that started in 1999. The ELCA has supported this co-op over a number of years. As part of the earthquake response, we will work to assist families in the co-op by&#58;</p><ul><li>Distributing hygiene kits</li><li>Distributing kitchenware and utensils lost in the quake</li><li>Providing for psycho-social counselling</li><li>Helping create income-generating activities</li><li>Providing financial support for home rebuilding and repair</li></ul><p>We will also work with United Mission to Nepal to help with repairs and rebuilding projects for Elim Kids Academy, a Christian school that the ELCA helps support by providing for scholarships and teacher training programs. </p><p>&#160;As we transition from immediate relief to long-term response, we will continue to keep you updated as we work with our partners in the regions to assist those who were affected by the earthquakes to recover and rebuild. Please continue to hold the people of Nepal in your prayers as they continue on this journey of disaster recovery.</p><p>&#160;Please support the Nepal Earthquake Response by visiting the <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/Nepal-Earthquake">Lutheran Disaster Response giving page</a>. </p></span></div>09/28/2015Ohio: Responding to spring and summer floodingMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/310http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/310<div class="ExternalClass59C6B79F883148FDA49699BEC6D50709"><p>​Ohio experienced 20 consecutive days of rain and 3 major storms that produced flash flooding during those 20 days this spring and early summer. On May 29, heavy rainstorms hit Ohio that caused flooding in 6 counties. On June 14, another series of storms swept across Ohio, causing flood damage in 3 different counties. 17 homes were left totally inaccessible due to damage of private bridges. In total, 365 homes were destroyed or suffered major damage, and 1,598 homes experienced minor damage. </p><p>Local long-term recovery groups have been meeting to make plans for recovery efforts, and our affiliate in the area, Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio, has been a part of these meetings. Working with our affiliate, Lutheran Disaster Response is providing for three case managers to help families who were affected by the severe weather navigate their way through the recovery process. There are many components to managing one's recovery from disaster, and processes can be overwhelming and confusing. Case managers help people with some of these processes, such as filing insurance claims and helping arrange for unmet needs. </p><p>&#160;</p><p><img alt="MaryB 185.JPG" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/MaryB%20185.JPG" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;259px;" />&#160;</p><p><span style="font-size&#58;9pt;">Ohio's Lutheran Disaster Response volunteers rebuild a survivor's house with their Thrivent Action Dollars</span></p><p>The three case managers that will be working with our affiliate will provide assistance to approximately 365-400 families over the course of 6-12 months. </p><p>When disasters occur in the U.S., Lutheran Disaster Response works with a network of social ministry organization affiliates that are located around the country. Because Lutheran Disaster Response believes that every disaster is local and every response should be rooted in the community, our affiliates help Lutheran Disaster Response to respond on a local level as they are based in communities around the U.S. where our disaster responses occur.</p><p>We will continue to work with our trusted affiliate in the area and will keep you updated on new response developments. Please hold the people in Ohio who were affected by the severe weather in your prayers as they navigate their way through recovery to post-disaster renewal. </p><p>Please support the disaster response work in Ohio by visiting the <a href="http&#58;//www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/">Lutheran Disaster Response giving page. </a></p></div>09/12/201510 years after Hurricane KatrinaMegan Brandsrudhttp://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/309http://elca.org/News-and-Events/blogs/ELCALutheranDisasterResponse/309<div class="ExternalClassFB47FFB7F506497B940C5B45F5AF8824"><p>​On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast of the United States. Damage and destruction sprawled from Florida's panhandle to western Louisiana. 1,833 people died and many more were injured. With approximately 90,000-square miles of federally-declared disaster areas and one million homes and building destroyed, Hurricane Katrina is in the books as the most destructive and costliest disaster in U.S. history.</p><p>Lutherans around the world watched as news reports displayed images of the destruction and aired interviews with people who had lost so much due to the storm, and they turned to their church to respond. Immediately after Katrina hit, people started offering to volunteer in the affected areas and giving to Lutheran Disaster Response. More than $27 million was given to Lutheran Disaster Response to directly assist families that had been affected by Hurricane Katrina. </p><p>Lutheran Disaster Response started recovery efforts by working with its social ministry organization affiliates that were located in the affected area or had networks in the area. Lutheran Disaster Response also became involved with Katrina Aid Today (KAT) National Consortium, a coalition of secular and faith-based organizations that helped provide disaster case management, which provided $8 million to Lutheran Disaster Response for case management. In the end, Lutheran Disaster Response was able to provide case management to 11,000 households with the support from KAT. </p><p>A major component of our Hurricane Katrina response was volunteer coordination. With an unprecedented number of people who wanted to volunteer, local congregations in the affected areas started serving as volunteer hosting centers or setting up volunteer camps that would end up running for years after Katrina hit as volunteers continued to pour in from around the country. One example is Christus Victor Lutheran Church in Ocean Springs, Miss., that started Camp Victor, a volunteer camp that housed 50,000 volunteers from all 50 states and 20 countries. In total, these volunteers provided 1 million service hours as they helped to gut, repair and rebuild more than 2,000 homes. </p><p>In addition, &quot;What a Relief!&quot; formed as an alternative Spring Break volunteer program with Lutheran Disaster Response. During the program's first year, more than 800 college and university students from 34 U.S schools participated in Spring Break service projects in the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. For the next four years, Lutheran Disaster Response continued to coordinate more than 50,000 volunteers through &quot;What a Relief!&quot; as it expanded beyond the alternative Spring Break program.</p><p><img alt="katrina blog post.jpg" src="http://search.elca.org/blogs/SiteAssets/Lists/ELCA%20Lutheran%20Disaster%20Response/Browse/katrina%20blog%20post.jpg" style="margin&#58;5px;width&#58;350px;height&#58;263px;" />&#160;</p><p><span style="font-size&#58;9pt;"><em>Students from&#160;Valparaiso University help clean out a house&#160;damaged by Hurricane&#160;Katrina as part of the What a Relief!&#160;alternative spring break program.</em></span>&#160;</p><p>Throughout the Hurricane Katrina response, special attention was paid to providing emotional and spiritual care for those who were affected by Katrina.</p><p>Hurricane Katrina is Lutheran Disaster Response's largest disaster response to date, and it helped shape the way Lutheran Disaster Response does its work, in addition to connecting people from around the country together to do disaster work with their church.&#160; </p><p>Follow Lutheran Disaster Response on<a href="https&#58;//www.facebook.com/LutheranDisasterResponse"> Facebook </a>for more Hurricane Katrina anniversary information this week. </p></div>08/25/2015