— Photos by David P. Young, Todd Morriss, Ricci Shyrock/IRIN

Thank You to the many congregations, individuals and volunteers who chose to be part of disaster recovery ministry in 2014. Your support of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) enables us to witness the healing love of Christ to families affected by disasters. Through your gifts, action and prayers, you stand in the GAP for disaster survivors and help the Church with responses around the world.

Your financial gifts of love enabled us to program approximately $1.5 million to meet immediate and long-term recovery needs of disaster survivors and to provide a witness of caring around the world.

Internationally, your gifts enabled response to major disasters and civil conflicts in 15 countries and, through support of the global rapid response fund, enabled a low-level response in an additional 25 countries.  Your gifts helped support:

  • assistance for Christians and other religious minorities seeking refuge from persecution in Iraq.
  • the West Africa Initiative in Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the Ebola crisis caused a severe medical emergency and had a widespread impact on agricultural livelihoods.
  • immediate or ongoing disaster responses in South Sudan, the Philippines, Syria, Haiti, and other nations around the globe.

Nationally, your gifts supported the response of 39 mid councils in 24 states to storms, floods, and other disasters within their bounds as well as long term recovery efforts.  Your gifts supported:

  • a compassionate response to the unaccompanied children and border crisis.
  • fire responses in California, Georgia, New York and Texas.
  • response to the shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, and to public violence in multiple states.
  • new and ongoing responses to flooding and tornadoes around the nation.
  • a ministry of hospitality for volunteers to be engaged in helping communities recover.

PDA National Response Team (NRT) members served following 23 disasters in 20 states, helping mid councils respond to disasters in their communities. NRT members also conducted disaster preparedness, compassion fatigue, emotional and spiritual care, care for caregivers, long-term recovery, and other trainings to help mid councils build their capacity to respond.

Your gifts of time and talent in walking with disaster survivors provided hope and encouragement on the journey to recovery.

  • More than 7,100 volunteers served through 38 PDA-related volunteer hosting sites in 11 states, donating more than 313,000 hours of labor for disaster recovery.  The monetary equivalence of this labor is valued at over $7 million; however, as the church we know the value of our service is not limited to financial support—by bearing the witness of Christ’s love, our gifts of service are multiplied.    
  • Many assembled and packed Gift of the Heart Kits to offer hygiene, baby care, school, or cleanup supplies.  More than 114,000 kits were distributed to partner agencies in the U.S. and around the world.
  • Presbyterians helped refugees and asylum seekers resettle in the United States through our collaborative work with Church World Service. More than 7,500 refugees experienced the ministry of pastoral accompaniment and the welcoming of strangers seeking a new life.

We are thankful for the many ways Presbyterians continue to bear the hope of Christ to those recovering from disasters, and we celebrate the involvement of so many servants in the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance ministry.

Download/print the PDA summary "2014 At a Glance"

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