Lutheran Disaster Response organizes help for Nebraska

As this Reporter went to press, Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR), based in Chicago, continued to organize recovery efforts after spring storms. That includes eastern Nebraska, where tornadoes and hailstorms hit in late May.

A June 10 news release from LDR, a cooperative effort of the Missouri Synod and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), said that Lutherans and others were still clearing debris at Nebraska farms, homes and communities and that volunteers were distributing food and materials.

Dana College, an ELCA school in Blair, Neb., sustained more than $1 million in damage after baseball-size hail hit six buildings there May 22. No one was injured.

A spokesperson for Concordia University Nebraska, Seward, a Missouri Synod school in eastern Nebraska, told Reporter that the storms did not affect that campus.

LDR also is helping with recovery efforts after spring storms this year caused flooding in northwest Washington State, mudslides in southern West Virginia, damage and destruction of at least 1,400 homes and two deaths in Iowa, and eight deaths and dozens of businesses and homes destroyed in Utica, Ill. The May Reporter had a story about the Utica storms. 

LDR’s retiring director, Rev. Gilbert B. Furst, encouraged Lutherans to “offer prayers of support, volunteer for cleanup and repairs and contribute money, which enables the church to respond at once and makes it possible to offer help and hope for the long haul.”

Donations, earmarked “Midwest Storm,” may be sent to LCMS World Relief, P.O. Box 66861, St. Louis, MO 63166-9810.  Or, call the credit-card gift line at (888) 930-4438.

Furst announced earlier this year that he was retiring from the LDR directorship July 1.  His successor is Heather L. Feltman, formerly with Lutheran Family Services of the Carolinas and with Advocacy and Public Policy of South Carolina.

Posted June 25, 2004

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