Churches of Scientology Disaster Response Joins Volunteers’ First In-Person National Conference Since the Pandemic Hit

Marcus Coleman, Director of the Homeland Security Center for Faith-based & Community Partnership, speaking at the National VOAD conference in Baltimore, Maryland

The 2022 National VOAD conference held in Baltimore was attended by over 750 disaster responders

A volunteer explains how Scientology “assists” help those following a disaster

Churches of Scientology Disaster Response booth volunteer explaining the Church’s role during disasters

To strengthen response to fires, tornadoes and hurricanes, disaster response groups meet on “4C’s” - Coordination, Communication, Cooperation and Collaboration.

It has been a great honor to be a part of this amazing National VOAD organization working side by side with others to help those in need.”
— Rev. Susan Taylor, Churches of Scientology Disaster Response
WASHINGTON, DC, USA, May 12, 2022 / -- The Churches of Scientology Disaster Response joined over 750 members and partners of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) as they met in person for the first time in three years for their annual meeting in Baltimore, MD.

Marcus Coleman, director of the Department of Homeland Security Center for Faith-Based & Community Partnerships greeted the large crowd with his message of compassion and thanks for the incredible work all the NVOAD members and partners do week after week and month after month every year.

Many faith-based disaster response and relief organizations such as the Seventh-day Adventist Services, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Islamic Relief USA, Mennonite Disaster Services, Salvation Army, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Churches of Scientology Disaster Response, and others filled the exhibit hall with booths detailing more about their services across the country.

The Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR), a member of NVOAD since 2006, participated with booths displaying the work they do in finding out what survivors need and want and ensuring that they are well served either by CSDR or referred to another competent organization. The CSDR booth also detailed the work of Scientology Volunteer Ministers in providing spiritual care for responders, caregivers and survivors by demonstrating “assists”, a technique which helps a person to feel less traumatized and more able to navigate the disaster.

Rev. Susan Taylor, National Director of CSDR, commented that she has been working with National VOAD since 2004 and noted the close collaboration at conferences is mirrored in their work on the ground. Rev. Taylor said, “The goal is to assist the survivor as best as possible to be resilient, put order into his or her life, and enable them to begin to return to normal. Helping others is incredibly rewarding and you see the joy in others’ faces as you help them with simple love, compassion, food, water, help in removing debris from their flooded house or putting a blue tarp on their roof following a tornado.”

The national conference allows groups to coordinate and adopt policies for disaster sites before disasters occur. When a disaster hits, there is little or no time for any coordination.

“It has been a great honor to be a part of this amazing National VOAD organization working side by side with others to help those in need,” said Rev. Taylor. “It is true that the VOAD’s strength lies in what we call the 4C’s: Cooperation, Communication, Coordination, and Collaboration.”

National VOAD website sums up their story well - In 1970, six faith organizations and the American Red Cross came together to address inequities of disaster response in the U.S. and formed the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD).

Progressing forward 50 years, National VOAD has become a model of cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration (the 4C’s) across all faith communities, secular organizations, local/state/territory/federal government agencies, and private sector businesses in dealing with disasters.
National VOAD’s statistics are impressive. Government agencies at the national, state, and local levels rely on the good will and help of the VOAD volunteers. In just one year (2019) some 9,907,071 volunteers worked 48,129,263 volunteer hours equating to $1.3 billion in donated labor to response and recovery efforts across the United States.

National VOAD fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. In a disaster situation, NVOAD members coordinate amongst themselves to ensure all areas of need are covered - from food and water to diapers and animal care. The organization has over 60 national members and many associate members and private sector partners. It works closely with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local agencies in all corners of the country to ensure that relief following a disaster is as smooth and effective as possible.

As a member of NVOAD, the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response (CSDR) staff and volunteers reach out to help those in need no matter what the circumstance and have for more than 30 years brought relief to those devastated by earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, bombings, shootings and other disasters. It is tasked with the duties of providing spiritual care as well as assisting with the unmet material needs of survivors, responders and caregivers who are affected by trauma, loss, upset, stress and confusion after a disaster.

The Church of Scientology’s long term commitment to help is written throughout its scriptures. The Scientology Handbook, based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Scientology religion, defines the role of the Church of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers.

Mr. Hubbard wrote, “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.”

Scientologists assist people in hospitals recover from illness or injury, they help the underprivileged secure a valuable education by improving their ability to study, they heal troubled marriages, they salvage lives from drug abuse, they are active in criminal rehabilitation, in raising society’s moral standards and they are on the scene to bring relief to those victimized by disaster.

Rev. Susan Taylor
National Affairs Office
+1 202-667-6404
email us here