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Disaster relief: Records tallied in '04 by Baptist volunteers


ALPHARETTA (BP) - Southern Baptist Disaster Relief responses in 2004 reached an all-time high, including record numbers for meals prepared, buildings repaired and cleanup and recovery projects.

More than 15,000 trained Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers gave in response to 193 natural disasters which included hurricanes, an earthquake, floods, tornadoes and ice storms.

Southern Baptists prepared more than 3.5 million meals, repaired more than 2,600 buildings and completed nearly 11,000 cleanup and recovery projects - all record responses.

The year 2004 began with mobilizing volunteers for a seven-week response following an earthquake in Iran in late December 2003. January ice storms in South Carolina, followed by May floods in Ohio, June tornadoes in Kentucky and flooding in West Virginia served as a prelude to a barrage of fall hurricanes that pummeled the Southeast.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief officials conservatively estimate the value of the labor provided by volunteers in a two-month period following the four hurricanes at $6.9 million. And nearly $700,000 was given through NAMB for disaster relief ministries by donors from August through December.