“Help and Friendship Is What Disaster Relief Is All About,” Say Scientology Volunteers
As the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Hurricane Ida Disaster Response Team members wrap up two weeks of service in Louisiana and head home to their families and jobs, what they will long remember is the warmth, friendliness and courage of the people of Louisiana.
Nearly a month since Hurricane Ida slammed into Louisiana, St. Charles Parish is finally heading back toward “normal.” Schools are about to reopen and power is restored in more than 90 percent of the homes. Knowing they made a difference, a team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers who arrived in the region two weeks ago have headed home.
Despite long hours, hard work and arduous conditions, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers look back on their time in the region with fond memories of the warm and gracious people they met and helped.
Over the past two weeks, the team cleaned out flood-damaged homes to prevent further damage and make it possible for reconstruction and renovation to begin. They chopped up and removed fallen trees. They pulled down broken branches from trees to prevent them from falling on unsuspecting passersby.
Whenever needed, the Volunteer Ministers provided Scientology assists—techniques developed by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard that have come to be known as “spiritual first aid.” Assists help people overcome the loss and confusion so often experienced in times of disaster.
On arriving in Louisiana, the Scientology Volunteer Ministers logged on to crisiscleanup.org to locate neighborhoods most in need of help. By connecting with the Mount Zion Baptist Church, they found out which parishioners needed assistance. Often, when they finished one project, someone next door or across the street also needed a hand, which they were happy to provide.
One man, concerned about his grandmother but unable to get to the region, arranged for the volunteers to put a tarp on her roof over the hole left by a fallen tree to prevent the home from further damage.
The Volunteer Ministers made it possible for local school principals to stay focused on getting their schools reopened by taking on cleaning up their flood-damaged homes. “I am truly grateful and blessed that you all were generous enough to assist me and my family during these difficult times,” said one of the principals.
“One woman we helped called out to us and thanked us over and over again,” said the Scientologist leading the project. “She said they had called and called for help and no one had come. And now that we were here, she would be able to go see her grandbabies. We were all so happy to be able to help.”
“Your team members have been in my prayers and thoughts every day since our meeting by the big tree at Mount Zion Baptist Church,” said a parishioner. “Each of you are a wonderful blessing and you are difference makers.”
The Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers program is a religious social service created in the mid-1970s by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard. It constitutes one of the world’s largest independent relief forces.
A Volunteer Minister’s mandate is to be “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.” Their creed: “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.”
Their motto is, no matter the circumstances, “Something can be done about it.”