Dear friends in Christ,
I want to thank you all again for your obvious love for those who are suffering and grieving as the result of the tornados that struck the south central part of our country on Friday night. It is a joy to receive your messages of care and concern. We know how eager you are to help!
At this hour we are unaware of any WELS congregations or members who suffered damage or loss from the storms. Praise God for watching over his people! Because of this, we are not planning to mobilize and deploy volunteers for on-site disaster relief work. Since we don’t have the deep resources and infrastructure of FEMA or the Red Cross, we are unable to go into areas where we don’t have a congregation nearby. In disaster situations it is our practice to use the local WELS church as “home base” from which to train, equip, and support our volunteers.
However, we do want to help those who are hurting. This evening the WELS CAR Commission authorized a grant of $10,000 to Direct Relief (directrelief.org) to aid the survivors of this disaster. Direct Relief is well equipped to give aid where needed. Mr. Greg Mora of Direct Relief described their plans: “Direct Relief is preparing a response to see where medical supplies are needed most. My colleagues are in communication with the Primary Care Associations in Missouri, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky and Indiana. We have also reached out to the American Red Cross who will most likely set-up shelters in the region and offer our assistance. In the past, pop-up clinics have been set up at emergency shelters where Direct Relief has been able to supply all the medical resources needed to care for the victims health needs.”
We have partnered with Direct Relief often in the past and are confident that they will work quickly to bring assistance where it is needed most. If you would like to support this effort please go to wels.net/CARgift and designate your gift for disaster relief.
Stay tuned to this page for further updates. We thank you again for your concern, your support, and your prayers.