Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Brethren Disaster Ministries receives $50,000 grant to continue Katrina rebuilding.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has received an additional allocation from the Church of the Brethren's Emergency Disaster Fund to continue rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina. The grant will support the program’s rebuilding site in Chalmette, in the St. Bernard Parish of Louisiana.

The program has announced that it expects to continue working in St. Bernard parish for several more years. The grant will go toward the repair and rebuilding of homes, travel expenses, leadership training, tools and equipment, and food and housing for volunteers.

Prior grants to support this Brethren Disaster Ministries site total $120,000. Brethren Disaster Ministries established a project in Chalmette in February 2007. To date, more than 600 volunteers have given over 4,500 work days and assisted over 50 families in returning to their homes.

Chalmette was one of the most devastated areas when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the northern Gulf Coast. Homes there were flooded with six to 20 feet of water for more than two weeks. More than 200 parish residents lost their lives and 100 percent of the homes were officially "uninhabitable." Current estimates indicate that if one house were built per day in the parish, it would take nearly 74 years to rebuild, Brethren Disaster Ministries reported.

In other disaster relief news, pastor Chuck Berdel of Christ Our Shepherd Church of the Brethren in South/Central Indiana District has been heavily involved in the group coordinating longterm recovery efforts for flood survivors in Johnson County, Ind. He reported to Brethren Disaster Ministries that the Construction Committee is quickly moving forward with planning while homes are still drying out. He was to attend a "Recovery Tools and Training" workshop sponsored by Church World Service on July 31. "I am very humbled and wish to represent Christ Our Shepherd and our denomination well as we heal here from all the devastation," he said.

Source: 8/13/2008 Newsline

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