Kansas Disaster Response - Your Dollars at Work

We continue to work three active Tornado Recovery operations.  Reading, is preparing to build two houses with the help of Habitat for Humanity.  I don’t have details on that build at this time.  The Kansas District directed $5,000 to the City of Reading to help with this endeavor. 

Harveyville is also at the point of beginning recovery operations.  Two members from St. John, Alma have been involved with HART (Harveyville Area Rebuilding Team):  JoAnn Meyer, who also sits on  HART in other capacities, and Ervan Stuewe, who played a role in the formation of HART and serves as County Commissioner.  With their wisdom, we are granting over $6,000 to the United Way of Greater Topeka to determine disbursement for unmet needs as they come before HART.  They will also serve as our eyes and ears for other needs beyond that original grant. 

The Wichita recovery from the April 14 tornadoes is to the point of needing to get roofs covered, especially on mobile homes that were damaged.  The tornadoes destroyed 120 homes.  An exact number of homes needing repair has been difficult to ascertain.  One road block has been that there is no funding for initial building inspections to determine if these buildings can be repaired safely.  At the May 15 meeting of the Sedgwick County Region of Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disaster (SCRVOAD), Kansas Lutheran Disaster Response offered a grant of $10,000 to the United Way of the Great Plains to assist them in hiring individuals who can make these building assessment and thus speed up getting people back in their homes. 

Chaplain Rocky Mease holds a new position in disaster response this year.  He was elected co-chair of the state VOAD.  He is also working toward becoming a fully crentialed Red Cross Volunteer to provide Spiritual Care to victims of large and small disasters for local Red Cross Agencies as well as for national disasters. 

We thank you for your support for the Kansas District Fund.  If you wish to make a contribution to assist in our various Disaster ministries, please make  your check payable to Kansas District LCMS and write Kansas Disaster Fund in the memo.  Send to:   
        Kansas District LCMS
        1000 SW 10th Ave.
        Topeka, KS 66604

The Kansas District Disaster Fund is used to respond to natural and man-made disasters as directed by the Board of Caring Ministry.   District Disaster Funds are used to provide the following services: 

     •  Congregational Preparedness and Lutheran Early Response
        Team training
     •  Building relationships with other Disaster Partners
     •  Emergency, relief and development grants
     •  Pastoral care for LCMS church workers and members
     •  Resources (volunteer coordination, donation and equipment

 Agencies Providing Disaster Assistance 

The Missouri District Disaster Fund                                              
The Missouri District - LCMS                                 
660 Mason Ridge Center Drive, Suite 100                            
St. Louis, MO 63141
http://www.mo.lcms.org/  click on Disaster Response

Lutheran World Relief and Human Care
1333 S. Kirkwood Rd.                                                
St. Louis, MO 63122 

Lutheran Disaster Response
39330 Treasury Center
Chicago, IL  60694-9300

Orphan Grain Train 
(402) 649-3893 or (402) 649-3896

American Red Cross
P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013


First Anniversary of Joplin Tornado

On May 22, the people of Immanuel Lutheran Church and Martin Luther School, along with all of Joplin, Missouri, will mark the first anniversary of the devastating tornado that wiped out 35% of the city and claimed 163 lives. From the moments immediately after the storm until today, Immanuel and Martin Luther have played a key role in the rescue, recovery and restoration work in Joplin. And there is so very much more to do.
LCC (Lutheran Church Charities) was on the scene supporting Pastor Greg Mech and the staff at Immanuel and Martin Luther within days of the tornado. Fourteen LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs traveled in shifts to Joplin along with several LCC staff and members of the Board of Directors. LCC continues to register volunteers for Joplin, as well as, processing many of the thank you letters for donors and advising the staff there when needed. The overwhelming response of volunteers, donors, churches, districts and synod has made it possible for Immanuel and Martin Luther to become a vital participant in the rebuilding of Joplin. This is work that is going on today and will continue for the foreseeable future. Here are just some of the accomplishments made in the last year:
     •  More than 70,000 meals served over the course of two 
     •  Distributed several semi-trailer loads of food, clothes, hygiene
        and cleaning supplies
     •  More than 3,000 volunteers deployed representing more than
        300 teams (some that have made multiple visits)
     •  More than 800 projects/properties worked on
     •  Acquired two K-9 Comfort Dogs for full time service to
        survivors in Joplin
     •  Sponsored Camp Noah for children who survived the storm
     •  Received and distributed financial support from more than
        2,200 individuals and LCMS congregations
     •  Hired Trent Davis to serve as full time Director of Disaster
     •  Formed a new ministry of Immanuel called Transform Joplin,
         Incorporated to facilitate long term recovery.
     •  Moved recovery operations into a 20,000 sq. ft. warehouse 
        and office provided by God's grace and invited other   
        ministries involved in rebuilding to share the space

As the first anniversary approaches, the staff and members of Immanuel and Martin Luther want to publicly thank all the volunteers and ministries that have partnered with them to bring the mercy, compassion and proclamation of Christ to those who lost so much on May 22, 2011.  Special thanks go out to the LCMS, LCC, Orphan Grain Train, LCMS World Relief and Human Care, the Missouri District of the LCMS, and Good Shepherd Lutheran in Carthage, Missouri (for providing housing for so many volunteers).

While we pause to remember and offer thanks, we also want everyone to know there is much more work to be done.

Skilled teams of volunteers are still being accepted as homes are being built in cooperation with Habitat for Humanity.  Teams from 3 to 15 people with at least 20% of the participants being skilled at construction are ideal.

Ongoing financial support is also key. Each new Habitat home costs $50,000 to build and Immanuel has committed current funds to build several homes.  Congregations, circuits or districts could expand this number by sponsoring all or part of a Habitat home through Transform Joplin.       submitted by Lutheran Church Charities

For more information, visit lutheranchurchcharities.org 

Camp Restore in New Orleans

Camp Restore has been serving the New Orleans area since the Fall of 2006!  Located on the campus of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and School at 9301 Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, Camp Restore offers air-conditioned dormitory accommodations, meals, and project coordination for volunteer groups of all sizes.

In partnership with over 60 other area nonprofit organizations, Camp Restore connects thousands of volunteers each year with the full spectrum of service opportunities in the New Orleans - from rebuilding homes to rebuilding wetlands, and everywhere in between.  Visit raiministries.org to see how you can get involved today!