Hurricane Season: Volunteer Ministers confront wake of destruction with their "Something can be done about it" spirit

September 15, 2021

Smiles of relief and happiness, hugs and joy are always in appreciation for help

Mucking out a house swamped by five feet of storm water

Blue tarping a home to keep future rain out

Volunteers helping their neighbors by removing down trees

Always remembering the motto of the Volunteer Ministers – SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT – the VMs head out to help others.

Thousands of homes destroyed by Hurricane Ida lagging behind in getting help – Church of Scientology volunteers assisting one location at a time

The work of volunteers, no matter what their faith, is always appreciated. Those in need not only are thankful for home improvements but are blessed by the love and compassion given by the volunteers.”
— Rev. Susan Taylor, Director Churches of Scientology Disaster Response
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, September 15, 2021 / -- Weeks after the devastation left by Hurricane Ida, volunteer organizations are still responding and helping those in need throughout Louisiana. And now Hurricane Nicholas threatens many of the same devastated areas. Thousands and thousands of homes were inundated with over five feet of water from Ida and need to be totally gutted and rebuilt. Despite continued bad weather volunteers continue their work.

Most of those in need have not been able to hire professional help to remove mud, muck and silt out their homes, put blue tarps on roofs or remove downed trees. So, volunteers from many of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) member organizations have been stepping up to help. Most have hurdles to overcome including COVID restrictions and the assurance that their volunteers will remain safe.

Churches of Scientology Disaster Response, a member of the NVOAD, despite challenges including COVID restrictions, has been able to deploy several Volunteer Minister (VM) teams to assist in doing assessments and other emergency tasks.

The VMs helped their own members first near their church in Baton Rouge so those members, in turn, could help others. The deployed teams then reached out to help yet others in East Baton Rouge, St. John the Baptist and St. Charles Parishes with debris and tree removal and blue tarping as well as emotional and spiritual care.

In one parish the Volunteer Ministers helped a family muck out their house which had been flooded with over five feet of water. The muck-out included removal of all personal items, furniture, drywall, insulation, fixtures, cabinets and flooring. Everything on the first floor was hauled, piece by piece, to their front yard. The house was hot, humid and completely covered in mold. Despite these conditions the volunteers, undaunted, gutted the first floor so it could then be rebuilt.

In St. John Parish, a Baptist Church was in need of tree removal. The Baptist church had just months earlier lost their pastor to COVID and had no one in their membership with chain saw experience. Their church was a designated point of distribution for food and supplies to their greater community. The volunteers removed trees and debris and cleaned up the adjoining cemetery where the pastor of the church had just months earlier been laid to rest.

“Always remembering the motto of the Volunteer Ministers, SOMETHING CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT, the VMs reach out knowing that the work of volunteers, no matter what their faith, is always appreciated. Those in need not only are thankful for home improvements but are blessed by the love and compassion given by the volunteers. And the returned smiles of relief and happiness, hugs and joy are always payment in abundance to the volunteers,” remarked Rev. Susan Taylor, National Director, Churches of Scientology Disaster Response.

The Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers program is a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard.

A Volunteer Minister’s mandate is to be “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.” Their creed: “A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.”

The Scientology religion was founded by author and philosopher L. Ron Hubbard. The Founding Church of Scientology in Washington, DC, was formed in 1955 and the religion has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups, with millions of members in 167 countries.

Rev. Susan Taylor
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