Jump directly to the content
Three Ways to be a Good Neighbor to Disaster Survivors
Three Ways to be a Good Neighbor to Disaster Survivors
What the Good Samaritan parable can teach us about helping after Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.
PAGE 3 of 3Single Page

Give financially. The Good Samaritan gave two denarii to the innkeeper to help the man while he was gone. He informed the innkeeper of his plan to come back and cover expenses incurred in his absence. Another way you can help like the Good Samaritan is to financially contribute to recovery efforts. Note that the Good Samaritan anticipated more resources were likely to be needed as time passed. Giving money now is one of the most effective ways you can help in the immediate aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Harvey. Yes, giving a monetary donation can feel a bit sterile. Yet giving to those on the ground means your dollars will be utilized immediately and where they are most needed. To make sure your dollars go to work, give to established relief organizations and nonprofits. Local community organizations, such as churches, may also start to manage donations, providing another great place to give. Many of these groups already possess the skills, know-how, and resources to respond effectively. They are also more prepared to handle the large influx of donations to follow.

Research has shown the vast majority of giving is done in the early phase of disaster response and often runs dry during later stages of recovery. Commit to supporting long-term assistance, as social and financial capital often dry up well before tangible signs of disaster recovery are evidenced.

Being a good neighbor in these ways will not only help meet physical needs left behind by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, but, as we learn in the parable’s final verses, also shows mercy in the way Jesus commanded us to “go and do likewise.”

For any readers in the Houston area: Dr. Aten will be conducting a Spiritual First Aid for Disaster (SFA) training on September 16, 2017. SFA is an innovative, evidence-informed spiritual and emotional care intervention that equips lay and professional helpers to provide social support and address common spiritual and emotional struggles that follow a disaster. For more information and to register, click here.

If you’re interested in disaster relief ministry, the Humanitarian Disaster Institute is launching a new M.A. in Humanitarian and Disaster leadership, with both a traditional on-campus track and hybrid, primarily online track. Learn more here.

Dr. Jamie Aten (@drjamieaten) is founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, Illinois, and author of the Disaster Ministry Handbook. In 2016 he received the FEMA Community Preparedness Champion award at the White House. Read more at jamieaten.com.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

Posted:
September 12, 2017
View All
from our store
Best Practices for Technology Usage

Best Practices for Technology Usage

Establish policies and best practices to govern the use of technology for church staff.
Church Fundraising Campaigns

Church Fundraising Campaigns

Discover tips on raising and borrowing money.
Serving as a Disaster Relief Team

Serving as a Disaster Relief Team

Learn how to organize, equip, and train a disaster relief team.
Immigration & the Church

Immigration & the Church

Help with determining how to proceed legally with the issue of immigration