The Church responds to natural disasters through immediate pastoral care, longer-term rebuilding efforts, and the gifts of prayer and financial support. The ministry of presence, prayer and money all contribute to the hope that those who experience an encounter with individuals from the Church also encounter Jesus. It is gestures both large and small that bring hope to the devastated and begin the process of restoration.
On the local front, the Diocese of Southern Ohio has developed a partnership with Lutheran Disaster Response of Ohio. John Pyron is the Director of LSS Disaster Services, and serves as the liaison to our diocese as well. Globally, the diocese partners with Episcopal Relief & Development, which offers resources and training to help people prepare for disasters and provides emergency support so they can make a full and sustained recovery. Toks Ogungbadero serves as the diocesan representative for ERD.
If you would like to make a monetary donation to help with relief efforts in Dayton, you can make your donation online and the diocese will facilitate distribution of funds to the people and places that are most in need.
Click here to donate
If you prefer to send a check, mail your check (payable to Diocese of Southern Ohio) to 412 Sycamore Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Please indicate tornado relief in the memo line of your check.
Help our churches helping others
Feeding center at St. Margaret’s
St. Margaret’s, Trotwood, has been the epicenter for Trotwood tornado recovery operations since May 29. They have distributed over 7,000 meals, water, clothes and supplies to victims.
In addition to financial assistance, the church could use the following donations:
- non-perishable food
- hand sanitizer
- round face masks
- industrial gloves
- trash bags
- cleaning supplies
- feminine hygiene products
Donations can be dropped off at the church, 5501 Free Pike, or at Trotwood Fire Station #72, 5469 Little Richmond Road.
CityHeart at Christ Church, Dayton
CityHeart is the community outreach program at Christ Church, Dayton. They are responding as best they can to meet the needs of their neighbors in the community. CityHeart is a small, but critical link in the system of emergency assistance in Dayton and Montgomery County,
At this time, CityHeart is depleting its financial resources in order to serve both the community it normally helps and to help the tornado victims that are referred to them by larger agencies (that are also overwhelmed).
CityHeart is in need of donations to help alleviate the impact to their budget. Direct donations to CityHeart can be made electronically via PayPal at their website www.daytoncityheart.org, or by check made payable to CityHeart, c/o Christ Episcopal Church, 20 W. First St., Dayton, OH 45402.
Lutheran Social Services Disaster Services is coordinating recovery work teams. Please contact John Pyron if you are interested in volunteering. Any individual/unaffiliated volunteers should check-in/register at the Montgomery County Volunteer Reception Center (VRC).
The VRC is located at Sinclair Community College, Building 20, 220 South Edwin C. Moses, Dayton, Ohio 45402 (entrance off 5th St) and is open 7 days a week, 8 AM- 6 PM. Call 937.512.5700 for additional information.
Please track all field hours! Volunteer relief and response field hours can count as in-kind match for grants and other assistance. Please submit all volunteer work data to John Pyron at email@example.com.
Neighborhoods devastated in need of help / supplies: (esp chain saws, power tools, trucks, labor – also wear hard boots & safety goggles) If crews are working – don’t get in their way. Show up to one of the many the tornado hit areas with no other goal than to carry something. Bring boxes, plastic bins or trash bags to put things in, whether it’s something to throw away or something to save. Don’t just drop them off, use them. Fill them. People are trying to move, hundreds of people are trying to move out of their broken homes. They’re actively digging through rubble trying to find things they want to salvage. Help them.
What You Can Do
Please remember that disaster recovery is a marathon, not a sprint. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to be engaged. Immediate relief and response are important and highly visible; however, long-term recovery is many times forgotten and under-resourced. Please consider reserving a percentage of your resources – financial and social – for recovery efforts.
If you live in an impacted area, check on each of your members in your congregation, especially those that may need extra assistance (i.e. seniors, those with on-going medical needs like dialysis and/or oxygen, households with small children, un/underinsured households, etc.), documenting needs as you are able. LSS Disaster Services can provide a screening form to capture this information and is working to create an online portal as well. As you are in the field checking in with your members, you have a wonderful opportunity to also check in with members’ neighbors to inquire if they need assistance. Please contact LSS if you would like additional information on outreach opportunities.
Help out with Crisis Cleanup
Crisis Cleanup is a free, award-winning, ready-to-use, open source technology application that connects disaster response organizations with the people who need help. Crisis Cleanup implements a “Craigslist” philosophy to response efforts– organizations that are aware of work orders enter them into the system, and organizations with capacity to help can claim and perform the work. The system is not public, but it is open and transparent among participating organizations. No centralized organization is “in charge.” This non-threatening approach minimizes duplication and maximizes communication, coordination, and efficiency. You can learn more by visiting www.crisiscleanup.org.
How Do I Use Crisis Cleanup?
LSS Disaster Services, in partnership with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), has been working to get a community hotline up and running to gather data for households who need cleanup assistance. The data from these calls is then plotted on an interactive map so that response organizations can “claim” work orders and then complete the requested work in the field.
If you are interested in participating in Crisis Cleanup as either a response organization that will be sending debris removal/clean up teams into the field and/or you are interested in serving as a hotline volunteer, please:
- Register your church or organization in the system at https://www.crisiscleanup.org/register;
- Upon registration approval, you will have the ability to invite phone volunteers to be linked to your church/organizational profile via the system dashboard;
- Once registered and approved, everyone should watch the Crisis Cleanup Training Video https://www.crisiscleanup.org/training.
Situation reports from LSS Disaster Services
Other ways to help
The Dayton Daily News has provided a list of ways to contribute to the relief efforts.
- The Dayton Foundation has established a relief fund
- The Foodbank in Dayton is asking for bottled water and non-perishable food item donations, as well as volunteers to help sort food.
- Donate to the American Red Cross
- Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley invites people to donate to its food pantry through its website, cssmv.org.
- Donate blood. Visit www.DonorTime.com or call 1-800-388-GIVE to set up an appointment. Type O blood particularly needed.
We will add additional resources to this list as they become available.