Relief donations can be made via state conventions, NAMB

ALPHARETTA, GA (BP)--Hurricane Katrina was one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the United States, and it could be the most expensive.

Last year’s four major storms in the Southeast cost about $23 billion, but early estimates of the financial impact of Katrina in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi range from $12 to 25 billion. It could take weeks or months to determine the total cost to tourism, businesses, homes, churches and governmental agencies.

The cost also will be high for the nation’s largest disaster relief operations including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Southern Baptists.

“Most people aren’t aware that Southern Baptists are the third largest disaster relief force in the country,” said Claude Rhea, development director for the North American Mission Board which coordinates multi-state disaster response.

“Although most of our relief workers are trained, dedicated volunteers, those volunteers need financial support to help purchase building materials for homes and churches, to minister to displaced families, for the cost of transporting hundreds of mobile disaster units across the country in many cases, communication resources, and many other vital expenses,” Rhea explained.

Rhea urged Southern Baptists to give to their SBC disaster relief partners including the three state Baptist conventions most affected by Katrina, the state conventions sending units to the devastated areas, and to NAMB which coordinates movement of the thousands of Southern Baptist volunteers and their mobile units.

Gifts can be made directly to state Baptist conventions, whose websites can be obtained through the NAMB site at www.namb.net and clicking on the “partners” line (located at the very top of the page). Donations to NAMB for disaster relief can be made at www.namb.net/disasterrelief, by calling 888-571-5895, or by sending a check to the North American Mission Board (NAMB) Disaster Relief at: North American Mission Board Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, Ga. 30368-6543.


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