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Churches of Scientology Disaster Response Featured in FEMA’s 2022 Partnership Month Celebration

Bringing help to those devastated by natural disasters

Hundreds of natural disasters rage through the United States each year. The largest are declared by the President and smaller ones by the governors of affected states. Each one, no matter the size, devastates those impacted. Coming to their aid is a partnership of voluntary organizations that collaborate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Scientology Volunteer Ministers responded in the aftermath of tornadoes that struck Mayfield, Kentucky
Scientology Volunteer Ministers responded in the aftermath of December 2021 tornadoes that struck Mayfield, Kentucky.

August 2022 is FEMA Partnership Month. It celebrates the successful alliance of National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) members and FEMA. This event, held virtually, celebrates the strong collaborative partnership that has developed over the years.

In recognition of this program, FEMA is showcasing these collaborations with a virtual partnership month website, with short videos of the valuable services and support of 45 voluntary, faith-based, community-based, and other partners before, during and after disasters. Among these are the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR), the American Red Cross, Adventist Services, Team Rubicon, and Salvation Army.

Rev. Susan Taylor, National Director of the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response and chair of Washington, D.C. VOAD, hosted a D.C. VOAD meeting in honor of FEMA Partnership Month, highlighting the vital and generous work of local VOAD members.

FEMA and more than 100 National VOAD member organizations have come together hundreds of times across the U.S. helping devastated communities. By pooling resources and volunteers, they are more able to help survivors of disaster incidents with necessities such as shelter, food distribution, individual assistance, debris removal, child care, spiritual and emotional care and flood mitigation.

“This successful collaboration between government and the private sector in the U.S. has inspired other countries to attend National VOAD conferences to learn how to structure potential collaborations in their countries,” said Rev. Taylor. “Helping individuals and communities to be resilient and recover is our top priority. As we continue to improve our own efforts in the U.S., we are eager to share with others on a global basis.”

Natural disasters have increased over the last several years not only in number but also in the duration of the events. Tornado season now extends into December as experienced by communities hit by December 2021’s 10 devastating tornados in western Kentucky.

To help meet and expand the response and relief activities following these incidents, National VOAD and FEMA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2010 to broaden communication and coordination between FEMA and National VOAD Members.

“This collaboration, strengthened by the MOU, between the private and government sectors has borne out well as a vital part of our country’s response and is growing stronger each year,” said Rev. Taylor.

As a member of National VOAD, the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response staff and volunteers reach out to help those in need no matter what the circumstance and have for more than 30 years brought relief to those devastated by earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, bombings, shootings, and other disasters. CSDR is tasked with the duties of providing spiritual care as well as assisting with the unmet material needs of survivors, responders and caregivers who are affected by trauma, loss, upset, stress and confusion after a disaster.

The long-term commitment of the Church of Scientology to help is written throughout its Scripture. The Scientology Handbook, based on the works of Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, defines the role of the Church of Scientology Volunteer Minister: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”

In addition to their contribution in times of disasters, Scientologists assist those suffering from illness or injury, help the underprivileged secure an education by improving their ability to study, heal troubled marriages, salvage lives from drug abuse, and are active in criminal rehabilitation.

For more information on the Church of Scientology and Scientologists and the humanitarian and social betterment initiatives they support and sponsor, watch episodes of Voices for Humanity on the Scientology Network.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in Los Angeles in 1954 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 Churches, Missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

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