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Most of the Nation’s Disaster Relief Work Comes From Faith Groups

Most of the Nation’s Disaster Relief Work Comes From Faith Groups

Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of attention on a few churches that were rumored to not do as much as they could have to alleviate the suffering brought by Hurricane Harvey.

We’ve explored how much truth there was to those rumors, but no matter what, there is some good news regarding how faith groups in the United States respond to disasters in America. A new report from USA Today highlights how much good they do, and how fortunate the country is to have them during times like this.

“About 80% of all recovery happens because of non-profits, and the majority of them are faith-based,” Greg Forrester, CEO of the national VOAD told USA Today. Those funds are “all raised by the individuals who go and serve, raised through corporate connections, raised through church connections.” Via the article:


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.


The article highlights groups like Samaritan’s Purse, the United Methodist Committee on Relief and multiple organizations set up by Seventh Day Adventists. There are also a number of non-Christian groups run by Buddhists, Muslims and Jews.

“FEMA can not do what it does so well without the cooperation of faith-based non-profit organizaitons and churches,” Rev. Jamie Johnson, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships told USA Today. “It’s a beautiful relationship between government and the private sector and it is something to behold.”

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