BRETHREN DISASTER MINISTRIES
Church of the Brethren has a history of involvement in humanity's suffering - war, strife or natural disasters. The Emergency Disaster Fund was established in 1960 to support disaster recovery and relief efforts. A massive disaster struck in 1972 when floods from Hurricane Agnes swamped the regions including Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The enormity of this event spurred the establishment of disaster response guidelines as goals and formal disaster response networks within the districts.
Each Church of the Brethren District has an appointed Disaster Coordinator who issues district-wide appeals for volunteers when needed for specific projects. Coordinators and volunteers are trained as project directors to provide on-site management of the disaster recovery projects.
Brethren Disaster Ministries is the managing organization for Children's Disaster Services, domestic home rebuild efforts and international responses. Children's Disaster Services assists children impacted by disaster. These services include setting up temporary child care centers and therapeutic activities and toys to stimulate imaginative play. Specially trained and certified volunteers provide a safe presence for children and individualized consultation for parents regarding their child's emotional needs.
Brethren Disaster Ministries maintains volunteers to repair or rebuild damaged homes for disaster survivors who lack resources to pay for restorative services. The goal is to ease the trauma and support recovery in disaster-stricken communities across the United States.
Over several decades, the Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries have responded to hundreds of disasters, helped many survivors and utilized many volunteers . This mission continues currently.