Church of Scientology Honors Los Angeles Volunteers at Disaster Response Conference

Volunteers from across Los Angeles County met today at the Los Angeles headquarters of the Church of Scientology for a disaster response event in honor of National Volunteer Week. They were briefed by leaders in the Los Angeles disaster response community on disaster preparedness.

Tracie Parker, Humanitarian Programs Director of the Church of Scientology International, hosted the program, which featured speeches by Scientology Volunteer Minister Alf Garbut; Alicia Hamilton, Red Cross Community Ambassador and President of PAC RED (Preparation and Awareness for Community Resiliency in Emergencies and Disasters); Abel Varela, Hollywood Emergency Leadership Project (HELP) Co-Chair; Jeff Reeb, LA County Office of Emergency Management Director; Alix Stayton, Emergency Network Los Angeles (ENLA) Program Manager; and a special presentation by presidential appointee, Deputy Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Dr. Jannah Scott.

In his National Volunteer Week Proclamation, President Obama said, “Through countless acts of kindness, generosity, and service, Americans recognize that we are all bound together—that we move this country forward by giving of ourselves to others and caring for those around us. Every day, Americans carry forward the tradition of service embedded in our character as a people.” And nowhere is this spirit more evident than in the disaster response community.

Welcoming all volunteers attending the conference, Ms. Parker said, “Scientology Founder and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard expressed the importance of the volunteer in these terms: ‘The biggest right there is, is not the right to vote, is not the right to freedom of speech or press or religion or anything else. The biggest right there is in human rights is the right to help!’ I would like to thank you for exercising this right and for everything you have done this year to help others.”

The emphasis of the event was preparedness and the essential role volunteers play in seeing that every member of the community receives the care he or she needs when disaster strikes. It was an opportunity for key players in Los Angeles County disaster response to learn of the services offered by like-minded groups and to coordinate future activities and maximize the effectiveness of LA volunteer resources.

Ms. Parker released a new publication, Scientology How We Help: Scientology Volunteer Ministers—Something Can Be Done About It. The brochure has been published by the Church of Scientology International to meet requests for more information about the program.

The Scientology religion was founded by author and humanitarian 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 184 countries.