Amidst Criticism of Governmental Response, Praise for Assistance from Diverse Faith Communities

September 9, 2005

Source: The Dallas Morning News

On September 9, 2005 The Dallas Morning News reported, "While the federal government response to Hurricane Katrina has yielded widespread criticism and the promise of congressional hearings, the faithful in north-central Texas and elsewhere have earned high marks from victims and disaster experts. 'What would it be like if ... [faith-based volunteers] weren't there?' said Ande Miller, director of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. 'It would be incomprehensible'... Since Hurricane Katrina... volunteers have been engaged in a service extravaganza, providing food, clothing and shelter, but also medical care and legal advice. They've helped place children in schools, public and private, and tended to needs both predictable and surprising... 'Faith-based organizations sort of fill gaps in the national emergency response,' said Bill Waugh, who teaches disaster management courses at Georgia State University in Atlanta. But this crisis has a sprawling second front – the communities across the region that have taken in evacuees. And that has brought local congregations to the fore."