Lutheran Services in America Launches LSA Disaster Network to Increase Capacity to Help Local Communities When Disasters Strike

Thursday, May 14, 2015

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Liliana Pettenkofer
703-965-5953
lpettenkofer@lutheranservices.org

May 14, 2015 (Washington, D.C.) – – Lutheran Services in America (LSA) has announced the establishment of the LSA Disaster Network to build partnerships and obtain additional resources for Lutheran social ministry organizations active in disaster services. The LSA Disaster Network will leverage the experience, expertise, and national footprint of LSA member organizations to increase members’ ability to help local communities prepare, respond and recover from declared and undeclared disasters. LSA organizations are actively involved in disasters large and small; from recovery efforts in Super Storm Sandy to flooding in the rural communities of North Dakota. 

“For nearly two centuries, Lutheran social ministry organizations have been actively serving their communities throughout the country, including the most vulnerable, low-income people in times of disaster and are often the last organization to leave,” said Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. “By bringing together the new LSA Disaster Network, we are reaffirming our commitment to be leaders in the communities we serve. Many Lutheran social ministry organizations are involved in the tough work of rebuilding a community, long after the news cameras leave.”

The LSA Disaster Network was formed to identify new sources of funding for LSA members to use in building community resiliency before and after natural and man-made disasters.  The network is seeking resources from government agencies, foundations, and corporations to bolster existing disaster programs and increase the ability of LSA member organizations to help increase preparation and response services available to local communities, especially for vulnerable populations. The network will also build national partnerships to enhance Lutheran social ministry’s existing expertise in providing case management and long-term recovery support, often years after the initial event. 

“As an individual organization, Upbring obtains funding and builds resources to serve people in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma when natural disasters affect our communities – but as a national network, we are in a far better position to collectively attract funding to make our entire network stronger – and allow us to serve even more people, more efficiently, when disasters strike,” said Kurt Senske, president and CEO of Upbring, The New LSS, and chair of the LSA Disaster Network. 

Charter members of the LSA Disaster Network:

- Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries

- Liberty Lutheran Services

- Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri

- Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains

- Lutheran Family Services of Virginia

- Lutheran Services Carolinas

- Lutheran Services Florida

- Lutheran Social Services of New York

- Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota

- Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

- Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

- Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

- Upbring Disaster Response, the new LSSDR

- Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) Disaster Response Ministry

- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) Lutheran Disaster Response

The LSA Disaster Network membership is open to LSA members and associate members. To join the LSA Disaster Network or learn more, please contact T.J. Cantwell at tcantwell@lutheranservices.org.

About Lutheran Services in America, Incorporated: Lutheran Services in America (LSA) is one of the largest health and human services networks in the country with more than 300 members that provide a broad range of critical services from health care to children and family services, senior services, disaster relief, refugee services, disability support, housing, and employment support. Collectively, LSA members serve 1 in 50 people in the U.S. each year in thousands of communities across the United States and are open to all regardless of their religious affiliation or social or economic background. LSA is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, please visit www.lutheranservices.org.

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