Report of the Disaster Response Task Force

2019-2020 Task Force Members: Ms. Mary Bates (Caldwell, Ohio), Ms. Susan Riches (Jacksonville, Fla.), the Rev. Michael Giese (Gallipolis, Ohio), Ms. Jessie Phillips (Watertown, Wis.), the Rev. Jack Richards (Everett, Wash.), the Rev. Mark Werner (Elmer, N.J.), the Rev. David McGettigan (Atlantic City, N.J.), Ms. Patricia Dittrich (Rosenberg, Texas — Women of the NALC), Mr. Dennis Thorp (Westby, Wis. — Active Shooter Training), the Rev. Ernie Sheldon (Statesville, N.C. — Chair), Mr. Tim Schubach (Centerville, Ohio), Mr. Michael Dittrich (Rosenberg, Texas), Mr. Douglas Wickre (Baker City, Ore.), Ms. Marcella Nelson (Brookfield, Wis.), Ms. Sheila Westrick (Celinda, Ohio — Women of the NALC), Mr. Bob Palan (LaVernia, Texas), Mr. Joshua Morgan (Kings Mountain, N.C.)

Introduction: For many people, this past year has been a year of confusion and fear. Many of our congregations have found new ways to connect while maintaining physical distance. Many have been creative with how to engage in activities with others. Most importantly, we have continued to serve others, reaching out to help those in need. By taking on this challenge this past year together, we are walking through this season to a brighter future — thank you, Jesus!

In addition to active responses, deliverables include; disaster preparedness trainings, servant event mission trips, regional disaster warehouses and bi-monthly disaster task force meetings.

On August 31, 2018, Hurricane Florence struck the Carolinas, damaging the homes of more than 139,000 families. Long-term recovery efforts on behalf of NALC Disaster Response wrapped up in the fall of 2019. NALC congregations provided over $720,000 of material donations to families in North Carolina. Approximately 1,000 NALC volunteers donated their time to help rebuild homes in New Bern and Wilmington, North Carolina.

On March 12, 2019, over half of Nebraska was devastated by a “Bomb Cyclone,” causing flooding and destruction of 60,000 homes, farms and livestock. Subsequently, the Missouri River, Mississippi River and Arkansas River are all flooding communities and families south of Nebraska. Over $200,000 of material goods were delivered and volunteers were coordinated at the local level — thank you, Jesus, for volunteers!

On Memorial Day 2019, 18 tornadoes devastated Dayton and western Ohio, destroying over 1,000 homes and causing damage to another 3,000. Living Water Lutheran Church provided the case manager for NALC Disaster Response — Tim Schubach — and Salem Lutheran Church established a donations center and hosted volunteers. NALC disaster volunteers helped to rebuild homes through the spring of 2020. Over $400,000 in material goods were delivered to families throughout the impacted area.

Tennessee was struck by seven tornadoes on March 3, 2020, devastating over 100 miles from Nashville to Cookeville, Tennessee. NALC Disaster Response responded with emergency relief items from Kings Mountain, North Carolina and Caldwell, Ohio, working with Reformation Lutheran Church, located at Hendersonville, Tennessee. Thank you Rev. Dean Eatman and members of Reformation!

COVID-19 caused the closing of our congregations in March 2020. NALC Disaster Response provided face masks and sanitation items (including gloves and wipes) to ambulance services, clinics and hospitals in North Carolina and Ohio, and several other areas. When we are allowed to buy face masks again, NALC Disaster Response will re-stock the flood buckets — thank you everyone who helped sort out the supplies our medical personnel so desperately needed!

On May 20, 2020, over 11,000 Michigan families in Midland and the vicinity were devastated when dams breached after five days of rain — at least three dams broke. NALC Disaster Response delivered flood buckets and health kits to Gladwin County where Living Hope Lutheran Church –Farwell and St. Paul Lutheran Church vart are located. Recovery will be very difficult in this area because the dams are privately owned, and the families may not receive government assistance. Follow NALC Disaster Response activities on to learn how to serve and glorify God’s name in the midst of disaster!

Spiritual Christian Care: The most important part of NALC Disaster Response is the Christian care we provide — over 8,000 Bibles, including Spanish language Bibles, were delivered to families, in addition to lots of prayers and testimonies by volunteers — a message of hope and the love of Jesus is proclaimed!

Warehousing: The new national warehouse in Caldwell, Ohio is complete — pictures are posted on the website at The dedication is to be scheduled. The Texas Mission Region has the Regional Warehouse in Rosenberg, Texas. The Carolinas Mission District has two warehouses: St. John Lutheran Church, Statesville, North Carolina and Advent Lutheran Church, Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Peace Lutheran Church, Edmond, Oklahoma is building a disaster warehouse and St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Middle River, Maryland now has a storage building being used for disaster warehousing. Disaster warehousing is now available in the Great Rivers Mission District at American Lutheran Church, Rantoul, Illinois. Four additional warehouses are in the planning stages at this time.

A box truck, a 24’ trailer, a pick-up truck, a tool trailer (two are being built) and two shower trailers are available to NALC congregations when disasters strike. The Carolinas Mission District now owns a disaster response trailer, located at Advent Lutheran Church, Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The Atlantic Mission Region and Ohio Mission Region are currently building tool trailers for NALC Disaster Response.

Disaster Preparedness Trainings have been postponed due to COVID-19.

Servant Event Mission Trips have been postponed due to COVID-19.

The Women of the NALC (WNALC) are scheduling Stuff the Trucks to collect Bibles, all types of kits and flood buckets for each of our warehouses. By collecting donations of material goods, they lead the efforts to support thousands of families when disasters strike. Keeping each warehouse fully stocked allows volunteer teams to load and go immediately when those disasters happen — NALC volunteers are often the first to arrive with help! Check out the WNALC website ( to follow where Stuff the Trucks are scheduled. We need every congregation to collect flood buckets, health kits, school kits, layettes, quilts, gift cards and Bibles. We hope to have a collection point in each mission region and district — thank you, WNALC!

The Disaster Response Task Force continues to meet regularly, coordinating and maintaining the necessary structure to support our congregations able to respond when disasters strike. By teleconferencing monthly and as needed, communications and information is shared throughout the NALC network. NALC Disaster Response has a new address at our new national warehouse:

New Warehouse:
16500 Noble Ave.
Caldwell, Ohio 43724
(Address for material donations)

P.O. Box 166
Caldwell, Ohio 43724
(Address for gift cards & mail)

NALC Disaster Response
2299 Palmer Dr., Suite 220
New Brighton, MN 55112
(Address for monetary donations)

Submitted by,
Mary Bates
Disaster Coordinator




Date published

August 2, 2020