Disaster Ministry Opens New Tennessee Project, Announces Grants

Brethren Disaster Ministries is opening a new rebuilding project in Tennessee, in an area hit by devastating floods in May. Other recent Emergency Disaster Fund grants continue work at two current rebuilding sites in Chalmette, La., where homes are still being rebuilt following Hurricane Katrina, and in the area of Winamac, Ind., where the Tippecanoe River area experienced heavy rains and flooding in 2008 and 2009. Photo by Dave Young

Brethren Disaster Ministries is establishing a new home rebuilding site in Tennessee, in an area hit by devastating floods in May. A grant of $25,000 from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) is supporting the new project site.

The grant supports the work of obtaining information to determine the need for Brethren Disaster Ministries programing, and will help underwrite expenses related to travel, food, and housing incurred by volunteers and staff during early assessment and project setup. Funds also will be used to furnish tools, equipment, and supplies for the work of repairing and rebuilding homes for qualified individuals and families.

The EDF also has given grants to continue work at two current rebuilding sites of Brethren Disaster Ministries: $30,000 for the Hurricane Katrina Rebuilding Site 4 in Chalmette, La., in a grant expected to carry the project through the end of 2010; and $25,000 for continued work in the area of Winamac, Ind., along the Tippecanoe River following heavy rains and flooding in 2008 and 2009, where the response is expected to be complete as of the beginning of 2011.

The grant request for the Louisiana site noted that, “Since doubling volunteer capacity in the summer of 2008, Brethren Disaster Ministries’ monthly expenses have nearly doubled as well…. With continued need and financial and volunteer support, BDM staff anticipates a continued presence in the region through mid-year 2011.”

In addition, an EDF grant of $40,000 was announced for the Church World Service (CWS) response to the Pakistan floods. The grant will assist CWS and the ACT Alliance in supplying emergency food, water, shelter, medical care, and some personal supplies.

In a recent update on its work in Pakistan, CWS reported that it is continuing its flood response and increasing the number of operational areas. As of Sept. 20, CWS in Pakistan and its partners have distributed food packages to more than 90,000 individuals, as well as 2,500 packages of non-food items; distributed another 140 tons of food for approximately 11,000 more beneficiaries; distributed 1,500 tents for approximately 10,500 beneficiaries; deployed three mobile health units, which have provided services for 2,446 patients. CWS also is supporting additional activities by other donors, including food distribution and another six health units.