Katrina: The Southern Baptist Response

Much has been said, over the past week, about relief organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. But one major organization which, as far as I know, has received no significant recognition in the media is the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief organization which is part of the North American Mission Board. What many people do not realize is that the Southern Baptists have the third-largest disaster relief organization in North America (and possibly in the world).

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The disaster relief response includes more than 600 mobile units (feeding, chainsaw, mud-out, command, communication, child care, shower, laundry, water purification) and more than 30,000 trained volunteers, including chaplains. You can read about some of the early response here.

As I understand it, because the infrastructure for disaster relief is already in place and paid for by the convention, 100% of money donated to this cause goes directly to those in need. Here are some facts:

Number of Disaster Responses 193
Volunteers Who Responded  15,032
Meals Prepared 3,500,596
Children Cared For 869
Buildings Repaired 2,683
Yards Cleaned 10,704
Showers Provided 91,024
Laundry Loads Cleaned 7,268
Gallons of Water Purified  1,520
Total Trained Volunteers 30,840
New Volunteers Trained 5,360
New Units Placed in Service 113

Recent Response:

Feeding Units 97

        Class —45

        Class B—33

        Class C—11

Recovery Units 384
Communication 13
Child Care 16
Shower 36 
Laundry 3
Water Purification 14
Other 23
Total units in the national fleet   586