1998 NCC News Archives

National Council of Churches logo represents the church 
as ecumenical ship, serving the world

CWS Coordinates Faith-Based Response
to Texas, North Carolina Storms

To Help: CHURCH WORLD SERVICE, Attn. Tropical Storms/Hurricanes 1998, #976233, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515. Phone pledges or credit card donations: 1-800-762-0968.

Who We Are: CWS works in more than 70 countries, including the U.S., in disaster relief, human development and refugee assistance. It is a ministry of the National Council of Churches, the nation's preeminent ecumenical organization, which includes 34 Protestant and Orthodox member communions with a combined membership of nearly 52 million.

NEW YORK, September 10, 1998 ---- Church World Service is supporting faith-based recovery work already underway following severe storms in Texas and North Carolina.

CWS has already sent some 300 health and cleanup kits to Del Rio, Texas, following floods there from Tropical Storm Charley that killed at least two dozen people and seriously damaged the economically depressed border community. CWS is seeking $100,000 from its member communions to assist faith-based, long-term recovery efforts in Del Rio and to support faith-based community efforts in North Carolina.

Extensive human suffering was wrought by Charley in Texas. The death toll might rise to nearly 50 people, reports Texas-based CWS Regional Facilitator Norman Hein of Lutheran Disaster Response. Moreover, Del Rio is an economically depressed area, and the flooding hit low-income areas particularly hard, with mobile homes and rental units sustaining the worst damage. "There are going to be a lot of unmet needs," Mr. Hein explained. "Del Rio is a very poor community and it doesn't have a lot of resources by itself."

The faith community, working under the umbrella group "Del Rio Recovers" will be an active participant in a local unmet needs committee, Mr. Hein said. Immediate needs in Del Rio include pastoral care and case management (in Spanish and English) as well as rebuilding in low-income areas. The religious community is being asked to bring work crews to Del Rio during the next year. "The task of recovery will not be completed in one weekend," Mr. Hein said.

In North Carolina, economic losses may reach $2 billion from Hurricane Bonnie. CWS Regional Facilitator Charles Moeller is assessing the situation. North Carolina Interfaith has requested $10,000 from CWS to assist individual interfaith groups in their recovery efforts.

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