In 2005, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita decimated cities and towns across Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, leaving thousands homeless and emergency response systems overwhelmed.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers were among the first to arrive with aid for the people of the region and emergency workers facing massive rescue and recovery operations. More than 1,000 Volunteer Ministers from across the United States and elsewhere answered the call for help, assisting rescue teams and providing physical and spiritual aid to injured and distraught victims.
Working with local authorities and support organisations, they helped set up temporary shelters for those who lost their homes, providing food and water, and distributing clothing and supplies. They also delivered thousands of Scientology Assists to those affected by the storms.
In the weeks that followed, Volunteer Minister teams remained in the region, conducting seminars and workshops in shelters and other community settings and providing whatever was needed to restore stability to the hardest-hit areas.
Hurricanes and tornados continue to overturn communities throughout “tornado alley” in the United States—the Midwest and the states bordering the Gulf of Mexico. Volunteer Ministers mobilise to serve in each new natural disaster scene.
“Our state of Louisiana has been dealt heavy blows by both the Katrina and Rita hurricanes. What I saw the Volunteer Ministers accomplish was tremendous. The shelters were well-organised, upbeat, no discipline problems. People were cared for physically, mentally and spiritually.
All of us in Vermillion Parish now know that when a ‘Yellow Shirt’ [uniform of the Volunteer Minister] arrives here to help, we can count on them to bring control and understanding to a situation. And we now all know that no matter what happens, something can be done about it.” —Louisiana State Senator, 2005