Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Together We Serve: Making the Red Cross Part of your Place of Worship’s Ministry Program

Written by Lilly Watson, staff contributor 
Churches and other places of worship are designed to host groups of people who want to come together under their common faith. While the common belief system of the congregates might be what originally brings them together, there’s usually lots of activities and groups at churches for the many hobbies that might be shared amongst members. Check a local church community board and you’ll typically find anything from quilting club, bunko, singles groups and more.
Faith Bible Church in DeSoto, Texas, had a unique idea for a new ministry group after watching Hurricane Katrina roll into the Gulf Coast on the news seven years ago. They saw people come into the Dallas area with nowhere to go and wanted to be there the next time nature put people in need of shelter. They wanted to come together as a church in service under the leadership and training of the Red Cross. 

Faith Bible Church’s impressive building, with full working kitchens, a roomy gymnasium, and special rooms that could sleep families with infants, was the perfect place to operate as a community shelter. After a few years of training and waiting for the disaster call, the church officially opened its doors to potential evacuees from Hurricane Isaac last night. 
Soon after beginning their training it was easy to see that the Red Cross has a role for all kinds of skill sets and interests on a disaster team. The ladies of Faith Bible know and love cooking for a crowd and signed on as the feeding committee. Young men from the youth group were ready to unload the trailer and pop open cots once supplies arrive. Even Pastor Andy was on hand at the opening to do what he does best in his role – lend personal support and encouragement to the staff. 
I always love hearing how new volunteers find their way to the Red Cross. The story of the people at Faith Bible Church is one that will be hard for me to ever forget. What’s better than completing your training and starting your Red Cross story alongside 50 of your fellow church members?
The Red Cross will always be ready to take volunteers, whether you’re coming solo to meet new people or you’re part of a group that wants to find new ways to grow and serve as a team. As Faith Bible Church learned last night, you never know when your Red Cross preparedness will be called upon, and we were so grateful that they took our call! 
To find out more about volunteering with the Red Cross, visit redcrossdallas.org.

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