Christian Organizations Are Doing More for Hurricane Relief than FEMA
Sunday morning at church, we had the opportunity to show love to some evacuees from Hurricane Irma. As hundreds of thousands of people fled Florida and traveled through Georgia, churches across the South have stepped up to serve.
With the double threats of Harvey and Irma the last two weeks, we've seen the church shine when it comes to hurricane relief. From providing shelter to donating new and used items, Christians are showing tremendous love to those in need.
Churches and other Christian organizations have led the way in item donations after Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas. For many of these congregations and non-profits helping others is simply a way of life. As USA Today puts it:
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.
In fact, Christian organizations are doing more than the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in response to Harvey and Irma. Faith-based organizations mobilize quickly, and Christians tend to act generously in times of need. The advantage to receiving aid from churches and other faith-based charities is that the states and localities do not have to repay Christian non-profits the way they must pay back FEMA dollars.
Many of the organizations that FEMA directs donors to are faith-based. USA Today reports:
Over and over again in public comments as Hurricane Harvey was soaking Texas and Louisiana, FEMA administrator Brock Long asked concerned citizens to go to NVOAD.org to make donations – that is National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the alliance of volunteer organizations that are helping FEMA channel disaster assistance into the affected areas. About 75% of the organizations that are part of the alliance are faith-based.
Denominational organizations work hard to put together aid for those in need. The Seventh Day Adventists and the United Methodist Committee on Relief have been in the public eye assisting victims of Harvey and Irma, and the relief arms of other denominations have taken in donations and put boots on the ground all over the South as well.
Individual churches have pitched in — just look at any local church's website or Facebook page, and you'll see ways that congregation is helping out. Other non-denominational faith-based groups – some with immediately recognizable names — are doing their part as well. Convoy of Hope has provided meals for those who needed food the most in the aftermath of both storms.