Volunteer Ministers Rise to the Call in the Wake of Hurricane Michael
- Natural disasters displace an average of 14 million people each year.
- More hurricanes struck in 2017 than in any other year in over a decade.
- The VMs have given one-on-one help to over half a million people at disaster sites in the last year.
- VMs have partnered
with over 1,200 organizations and groups as a result of help provided at disaster sites.
On October 10, Category 4 Hurricane Michael made landfall near Mexico Beach and Panama City in northwestern Florida, with winds up to 155 miles per hour. The hurricane, the third most powerful to hit the U.S., wiped out the beach towns located along the Gulf Coast.
The storm left a trail of destruction from Florida to Virginia with 26 fatalities and over 1.5 million people left without electricity.
An IAS emergency grant was immediately provided to deploy hundreds of Volunteer Ministers to assist in the disaster response—including flying in the legendary search and rescue team, Los Topos, from Mexico. The grant also covers transporting pallets of much needed supplies for those affected by the catastrophe.
A team of VMs rapidly mobilized to the disaster zone, setting up headquarters in Panama City. They have been working day and night to distribute supplies, clear debris from homes, and deliver assists to those traumatized. They have also teamed up with other disaster response organizations such as VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) to help organize and set up shelters and distribution centers for further delivery of supplies and assists.
Thanks to IAS support, the next VMs are already enroute with more vehicles being scheduled and loaded to bring additional supplies and volunteers.
Calls have been flooding in to the VM international hotline from Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, offering help and asking to volunteer.
If you would like to help as a Volunteer Minister, please contact the International VM Headquarters in Los Angeles at: 1-800 HELP-4-YU (1-800-435-7498). Volunteers are needed.
The Volunteer Minister disaster response efforts are made possible by the support of IAS members, bringing vital assistance to those in greatest need in times of disaster.
You can also help by making a donation to the IAS today.