Photo credit: North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention
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Photo credit: North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention

Christian-based groups provide the bulk of disaster relief, bar none, that is an undisputed fact and something that even USA Today acknowledged.

They report that nonprofit groups provided 80 percent of disaster relief far surpassing the federal government and most of those groups are faith-based (and the vast majority of those are Christian organizations).

If you donate bottles of water, diapers, clothing or any other materials to hurricane victims in Texas or Florida, your donation will likely pass through the hands of the Seventh Day Adventists before it gets to a storm victim.

That’s because the Adventists, over several decades, have established a unique expertise in disaster “warehousing”  collecting, logging, organizing and distributing relief supplies, in cooperation with government disaster response agencies.

Likewise, the United Methodist Committee on Relief is known for its expertise in “case management.” After the initial cleanup — where the Methodists have work crews helping pull mud out of houses — the church sends trained volunteers into the wreckage to help families navigate the maze of FEMA assistance, state aid programs and private insurance to help them rebuild their lives. UMCOR also trains other non-profits to send their own case managers into the disaster zone.

They note the help received from evangelical groups as well.

Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical aid group run by Rev. Franklin Graham, has trucks at the ready in Florida with chainsaws and debris removal experts to help clean up houses. After initial cleanup, the group has contracting services available to help the needy rebuild their homes. The group has responded to 20 disasters already this year, said Luther Harrison, vice president of North American Ministries for Samaritan’s Purse.

I’m a little surprised there was no mention of Southern Baptists who, through the North American Mission Board (NAMB), provide donations and man power. They were instrumental in providing relief assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and they are leading the way in responding to Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

Where people are charitable, big government is proved unnecessary. We just need to give. Speaking of giving, it seems like everyone points to the Red Cross as the charity of choice, but they are the least effective. If you want to make sure your money actually gets to people who need help the Red Cross should be the last group you give to. I personally recommend NAMB and Samaritan’s Purse (donate for Hurricane Harvey relief or Hurricane Irma relief, you can sign-up to volunteer to help with Hurricane Harvey efforts or Hurricane Irma efforts). Also, the Evangelical Free Church of America’s ReachGlobal Crisis Response has a Hurricane Harvey effort going. There are other groups as well, but those are the ones I’m most familiar with.

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