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Disaster Services

DISASTER SERVICES UPDATE

DISASTER SERVICES UPDATE 150 150 Pam Hudson

Dear Vincentians,

 

We are all familiar with the startling and isolating dread that can overwhelm us when the unthinkable happens, and our Vincentian principles call us to action. In the wake of a Midwestern tornado, Vincentian friendship, and service shines in the story of a neighbor in need of a place to rest.

 

As an aging member of the Seminole tribe, living alone in a rented house in Shawnee, Oklahoma on a fixed income, Jane was getting by. But disaster struck in 2023, when a spring tornado blew out her bedroom window, bringing devastating damage to the house and everything inside.

 

Although her landlord repaired the damage to the house itself, Jane had no renter’s insurance, so she couldn’t replace the furniture and personal items destroyed by the tornado. With FEMA funds exhausted on temporary housing and personal funds spent on other clean up, Jane had no way to obtain a new mattress, and she was left sleeping fretfully on her couch.

 

Thanks to support from donors, and a collaboration between an SVdP Disaster Representative, the Oklahoma City Archdiocesan Council, and disaster case managers at Oklahoma City Catholic Charities, Jane connected with the St. Andrew Conference in Moore, Oklahoma. The OKC Council purchased a new mattress using funds from a SVdP Long-Term Disaster Recovery Grant and mobilized St. Andrew Vincentians to deliver the mattress to their neighbor in need.

 

Jane was delighted to receive the final item necessary to put her home back in order and comfortably rest again, thanks to the help of dutiful Vincentians in collaboration with their community partners.

 

Identifying and fostering relationships with other local organizations empowers your Conference to better serve your neighbors when disaster strikes. Who do you know in your area involved in emergency management? Where are the gaps in community response that your Conference can help fill?

 

When Vincentians pursue these collaborative relationships, we strengthen our community bonds to the benefit of our Conferences, our neighbors, and our community partners.

 

In Christ,

The SVdP USA Disaster Services Corporation Team

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