Take part

October 1, 2005

Many church and other organizations are seeking donations and assistance for hurricane victims. Here is a sampling of ways to help. You also can check with your local congregation or diocese.

  • Pray for those involved, including those displaced by the hurricane, those who lost loved ones, emergency rescue workers, law enforcement officers, volunteers and caregivers.
  • Check out the Hurricane Katrina Crisis Center, updated regularly, at http://www.er-d.org/, website of Episcopal Relief and Development, the Episcopal Church’s international relief and development agency. Donate to ERD at the website, by calling 800-334-7626, ext. 5129, or by mailing a check to Episcopal Relief and Development, c/o Hurricane Katrina Response Fund, P.O. Box 12043, Newark, NJ 07101.
  • Donate to the Seamen's Church Institute, an ecumenical agency affiliated with the Episcopal Church, at 212-349-9090, ext. 245, or online at http://www.seamenschurch.org/. To become a River Friendly Church, contact Ann Mills, coordinator of special projects for Ministry on the River, at amills@seamenschurch.org or 270-575-1005.
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries, the church’s refugee resettlement organization, is helping to relocate uprooted Gulf Coast families. Congregations and community groups wishing to extend hospitality to displaced hurricane victims can visit www.episcopalchurch.org/emm or call 800-334-7626.
  • Those who can provide temporary housing can contact Donna Murrell or Bill King at Carpenter House, Birmingham, Ala., at 205-715-2060, ext. 317, or dmurrell@dioala.org or bking@dioala.org.
  • The National Council of Churches is working with church and faith-based humanitarian agencies from across the theological spectrum to identify those interested in helping displaced people transition to intermediate housing. The first step is gathering information about sources of potential intermediate housing from church-related agencies. To complete a survey to provide this information, visit . For more information, call 212-870-2379 or e-mail Katrina@ncccusa.org.
  • Some colleges and universities have accepted students displaced from Gulf Coast area universities as visiting students and need help housing those students. Contact local schools for information on their needs.
  • Send letters of support to people displaced by the hurricane to Love Letters for Louisiana, P.O. Box 5026, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-5026.
  • Visit http://www.churchworldservice.org/ for information on how Church World Service (800-297-2767) is responding to the crisis, to donate money or to learn how to assemble "Gift of the Heart" school and health kits. CWS also accepts donations at 800-297-1516 and by mail at Church World Service, Katrina Recovery, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.
  • The Episcopal Media Center's short documentary After Katrina: Help and Hope is available as an information and teaching tool. The video, which was scheduled for release Sept. 21, comes with a discussion guide and costs $29.95 on DVD or $19.95 on VHS. To order, call 800-229-3788 or visit wwwepiscopalmedia.org and click on “online store.”
  • Habitat for Humanity International, an ecumenical Christian ministry, plans a three-stage response to the hurricane through Operation Home Delivery: First, to help Habitat affiliates in the hurricane’s path restore some level of service; second, to serve as a catalyst with other organizations, governments, corporations, foundations, etc., to bring people together to talk about low-income house and recovery; and, third, to establish and implement a “home in a box project.” Habitat will assemble the materials needed to build a house, either bought or donated, and then work with various groups, volunteers and building specialists to “pre-build” the frame of a house for shipping to the Gulf Coast or New Orleans for assembly. For details or to volunteer to donate to Habitat’s work in the hurricane-affected areas, visit http://www.habitat.org/ or call 800-422-4828.
  • The Diocese of Mississippi (866-550-0872 or 601-948-5954) lists information on its website http://www.dims.org/ on where to send donations, supplies needed and where to take them, where to send e-mails offering help and housing, and more. Send donations to LESM, a joint Lutheran-Episcopal venture providing immediate and long-term relief and development assistance, to the diocese made payable to LESM and earmarked Katrina Relief. Funds payable to the diocese will be used to assist in pastoral support for clergy and congregations, congregational redevelopment and long-term needs. Earmark checks Katrina Relief and mail to P.O. Box 23107, Jackson, MI 39225-3107.
  • The Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast (850-434-7337) lists information on its website http://www.diocgc.org/ about volunteer and supply needs, including the opportunity to donate or assemble emergency kits.
  • The Diocese of Louisiana (225-387-5141) is posting information relating to the diocese and the effects of Hurricane Katrina at http://www.edola.org/. Send checks marked Hurricane Relief and payable to The Diocese of Louisiana to St. James Church, P.O. Box 126, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-0126.
  • The Diocese of Texas (713-520-6444) provides information about hurricane assistance on its website http://www.epicenter.org/. Send contributions marked "local relief" to help feed evacuees at the Astrodome and meet needs at local shelters or marked "Katrina relief" to assist the ministries of the Episcopal dioceses affected by the storm to the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, 3203 West Alabama, Houston, TX 77098.
  • The Diocese of Western Louisiana (318-442-1304) lists information on its website http://www.diocesewla.org/ on volunteer opportunities, needed supplies and sites for searching for missing loved ones.
  • The Diocese of Alabama (205-715-2060) lists relief needs and other hurricane-related notes on its website http://www.dioala.org/. Send donations to the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama, Attention: Hurricane Katrina Fund, 521 North 20th St., Birmingham, AL 35203.
  • Congregations wishing to contribute supplies to St. Paul's in Mobile, Ala., which is conducting daily transports to Mississippi, can call 251-342-8521.
  • Offers of volunteers and supplies can be made to http://www..
  • Donate to the Red Cross by phone (800-HELP-NOW, 800-257-7575 for Spanish, 800-220-4095 for TDD), online (http://www.redcross.org/) or by mail at American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013. Designate Hurricane Katrina relief on donations. The website also provides information on locating missing loved ones, applying for disaster relief, donating blood and locating the nearest Red Cross.
  • Another resource for those looking for loved ones is the Baton Rouge Missing Persons Hotline (225-709-7970).
  • The Families and Work Institute notes that the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina may be particularly disturbing to children, whether through direct impact or images in the media. The institute offers resources to help children cope during traumatic times: Coping and Contributing in Times of Crisis, Tragedy and Trauma: An Educator's Guide, available at http://www.familiesandwork.org/ and Tips for Helping Children Interpret and Navigate the Media, available at http://www.familiesandwork.org/.
  • Save the Children offers 10 tips to help children cope with Hurricane Katrina at www.savethechildren.org/emergencies/usa/ten_tips_kids_hurricane.asp and a toolkit for parents and educators, Expecting the Unexpected: Building Partnerships and Plans to Help Children Cope with Crises (2002), at www.savethechildren.org/technical/us/STC_Crisis_Final2.pdf. Donate funds at www.savethechildren.org/radio_hurricane_usa.asp or send a check marked Hurricane Katrina Fund for Children and payable to Save the Children to 54 Wilton Road, Westport, CT 06880.