Pastor Jonathan Eilert: Reminders that you might want to share with your readers about disaster response

Texas National Guard soldiers conduct rescue operations in flooded areas around Houston, Texas 27 August, 2017. (Photos by 1Lt. Zachary West, 100th MPAD)


 

Dear Loveland Magazine Readers,

Pastor Jonathan Eilert

Thank you Loveland Magazine for organizing information about opportunities to support disaster response in Texas. (Are you organizing hurricane relief?)

We at the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church here in Loveland direct all of our relief efforts to Lutheran Disaster Relief. (http://www.elca.org/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/US-Hurricane-Relief)  The administration of the Disaster Relief work is baked into our denomination structure, so 100% of the funds given will go directly to work on the ground in Texas. They have a long and steady record of doing the long-term work of recovery in areas often forgotten after the next disaster strikes. We went down with teams from Prince of Peace to a Lutheran Disaster Response Camp in the Biloxi area to rebuild houses three and four years after Katrina.  
 

In the immediate aftermath of a storm of this size, not all help is immediately helpful.

I offer a couple of reminders that you might want to share with your readers of things that were learned in the outpouring of support following Katrina. In the immediate aftermath of a storm of this size, not all help is immediately helpful. Right now what the area needs most is trained first-responders that are connected to existing channels of support. In the wake of Katrina, well-intentioned people went with truckloads of supplies. Some of that worked out well. Others jammed up roadways and brought supplies that did not meet a specific need with a specific organization. These went unused or created something else to move while they were trying to get debris out and particular supplies into devastated areas. Not to mention that those going to help had to be housed, fed, etc. when those things were in short supply in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. 

The best thing that people can do immediately from somewhere as far away as Loveland is to sit tight and donate money to organizations that are already a part of the network of organizations that are being coordinated to respond.

 
The best thing that people can do immediately from somewhere as far away as Loveland is to sit tight and donate money to organizations that are already a part of the network of organizations that are being coordinated to respond. The opportunities to donate supplies and labor will be available for months and years to come as the damage is assessed and plans are formulated. 
 
If someone really didn’t want to donate money and instead give materials goods I would direct them locally to Matthew 25 where they are very experienced in disaster relief and bring specific supplies to respond to disasters that they know are useful when they bring them. There may be other efforts with direct supplies right now, but I would want to be sure that they are meeting a need from a requesting organization with a specific coordinated distribution plan.  
 
Thanks again for doing what you can to make people aware of constructive ways to support our brothers and sisters in Texas.
 
In Christ,
Pastor Jonathan Eilert 
Prince of Peace Lutheran Church



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