In 2007 I worked in San Diego to support our local staff involved in the disaster relief efforts during their deadly fire season. It was one of the first times I experienced what happens when a disaster threatens to overwhelm a community: a network of non profits and religious organizations get busy. Each has their own special niche and when they come together to help disaster survivors cope with their loss, the results are formidable and inspiring.

A recent home dedication in San Diego is a great example of how several organizations helped a survivor of the 2007 fires rebuild. The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, Mennonite Disaster Services, the San Diego Foundation Regional Disaster Fund, the Escondido Charitable Foundation and the Regional Community Recovery Team pooled their resources to build Charles Lypps a brand new, 800 square-foot home to replace the one he lost in the fire.

Lypps Home Dedication

From Left: Lee Miller, Charles Lypps, Dawn Hubert, and Captain Richard Pease in front of Lypps' new home

The Salvation Army leads the way among faith-based groups, but a number of other religous organizations have their own areas of expertise too. Each group has special training and ability in the key functions that need to be performed during disaster response / recovery and they focus their attention on the job they’re best able to do. Here’s a brief run down on who does what in some of the disaster response / recovery categories:

Case Management: Catholic Charities
Clean up / Rebuilding: Mennonite Disaster Services
Elder Care: Lutheran Disaster Response
Emergency Assistance: The Salvation Army
Financial Assistance: UJA Federation of North America
Mobile Feeding: Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
Warehousing Material Goods: Adventist Community Services

We’re grateful for all our disaster relief partners. We need them to do the work God calls us all to do during a disaster.

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