Hello Disaster Relief Volunteers-
We’re learning that our normal Disaster Relief ways of responding to a disaster (chainsaw teams, flood recovery teams, mass-care feeding teams, etc.) aren’t aligning well with the needs and distancing restrictions generated by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, community organizations in a good position to serve are lacking volunteers, while our skilled and highly motivated DR volunteers aren’t being put to use.
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is responding to this unusual situation by encouraging state conventions to be creative in partnering with governmental agencies and community organizations in order to strengthen local efforts to meet critical human needs and to give our DR volunteers a pathway to service.
To this end, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware Disaster Relief is coordinating several opportunities with new as well as long-time partners.
We've just posted two "non-traditional" DR volunteer pathways for this crazy COVID-19 season. To view them, log into your account at md.disasterreliefonline.com and click "Upcoming Deployments" on the upper blue ribbon.
The first of these pathways is serving through your church in an existing ministry that's addressing COVID-19 needs or working with your church to create a new ministry project to address COVID-19 needs. A "ministry project" can range from a small group praying daily for COVID patients and medical personnel to intentionally being a good neighbor to your actual neighbors or helping your local school pack meals for students, organizing a blood drive for the Red Cross, etc. If you or your church need ideas to help you get started, the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware is posting ideas and resources at bcmd.org/coronavirus. Please check this site every few days as resources continue to be added and updated.
The second of these pathways is through the Maryland Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. Maryland VOAD is an umbrella group that BCMD has been an active member of for many years. VOAD has just launched a volunteer portal (DART) to match needs with affiliated volunteers. Partner organizations/agencies such as the Red Cross, MD Department of Human Services, City of Annapolis and others will be posting one-time and reoccurring COVID-related needs for registered volunteers to select. All of these projects will be COVID safety compliant. Because you're affiliated with us, you DO NOT have to live in Maryland to register on the MD DART portal.
If you're interested learning more about either of these non-traditional DR pathways, please visit md.disasterreliefonline.com and look under "Upcoming Deployments".
Because you'll be representing Disaster Relief, you may choose to wear your DR hat, shirt and ID. If you do chose to serve, please let us know so we can be praying for you. And because even "non-traditional" DR events come with data collection, we'll ask you afterward to share your story and any photos through a brief reporting template.
Be safe, be wise and be full of grace in every situation.
Interim Disaster Relief Director