How Our Effort Works
The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort immediately responds to any major disaster in the continental United States by sending truckloads of emergency food, water, cleaning, and other supplies to be distributed to all disaster victims in the disaster area through a local Church of Christ. We are a non-profit corporation, tax-exempt from state and federal income taxes under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code as an organization described in section 501(c)(3). The organization has fifteen employees consisting of an office staff, a warehouse crew, and 5 men that travel across the country telling local congregations about the work of Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort. So most importantly, our unpaid volunteer workers, and volunteer truck drivers are the secret to the success of our organization.
The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort unofficially began operations in 1990. Since then, the organization has distributed more than $124 million in emergency food and supplies in response to over 425 disasters in 44 states.
In 1994, the non-profit operations center located in Nashville, Tennessee was incorporated, and a large warehouse facility was purchased. Growth has been remarkable. For instance, in 1996 because of church congregations and individuals across the country we were able to ship $1.1 million in aid. Major disasters in 1999 caused us to respond with more than $4.5 million in supplies. In 2005 we shipped a record amount of supplies, valued at $16,096,517.13 to many areas including the Gulf Coast area after Hurricane Katrina. In 2006, we shipped $14,800,207.71, and $6,042,596.03 in 2007. More recently, in 2011 we distributed over $9 million due to many tornadoes, and Hurricane Sandy hitting the northeast.
Volunteers are the heart of this organization, and the reason for our success. Except for the Executive Director who sits on the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board, and the Director of Operations, who is on the Board of Directors, all remaining members of both boards are all volunteers and receive no compensation. We also have volunteers working weekly sorting and pre-packing relief supplies. When we pack food boxes it is not unusual to see 300 volunteers or more show up from local congregations to help. Youth groups and Sunday school classes from throughout the Southeast have enjoyed working a day or two during summer months or spring breaks before visiting other area attractions, like the Grand Ole Opry and the Nashville Zoo. We also will schedule a group of five or more, that will commit to working a four hour shift on a Saturday morning or afternoon, or a Sunday afternoon, to come work at the warehouse. We need advance notice to setup these special weekend visits, so if you’re interested, give us a call.
Who Supports Us?
Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort is supported by Churches of Christ, individuals, corporations, and other non-profit agencies nationwide. Many congregations have COCDRE in their monthly budget. In 2014, 668 congregations in 39 states plus the District of Columbia, and 2,938 individuals or families from 47 states plus DC supported us financially. In addition, many leading corporations from across the country matched the donation gifts of their employees that support us, along with donating substantial amounts of product.
- Ready immediately to respond to emergencies with organized preparation, distribution, and follow-up
- On-site review of assistance
- Local churches help to distribute food, supplies, and funds
- Workable system for distribution to victims
Who Gets Help?
- Strict guidelines apply to type of disaster
- We contact local leadership and emergency management to evakuate the situation
- We work with the local Church of Christ congregations in setting up distribution centers in the disaster area
- We follow up to see that all areas are covered
- All cases are checked out, not an individual benevolent fund
- Anyone at site can receive assistance regardless of race, color, or creed, or religious preference.
We are Cost Effective
More than 85% of every donated dollar goes directly to disaster victims, 86.82% to be precise. Expenses such as salaries, utilities, supplies, maintenance, depreciation, truck rentals, etc. amounted to only 13.18%. We are proud of this remarkable record and acknowledge that without our many volunteers this could not be possible.
Distribution of Supplies
Churches of Christ Disaster Relief only works through the local Church of Christ in the community or town, where the disaster has occurred. If there is no Church of Christ in the town, Disaster Relief will contact the nearest town that has a Church of Christ and ask for help. Supplies will be distributed by this congregation “in the name of the Lord” to anyone who has been affected by the disaster regardless of race, color, creed, or religion.
Information Security Policy
IS INFORMATION GATHERED FROM ME WHEN I VISIT YOUR WEBSITE?
No information is gathered by our website when you visit, unless you provide it to us by making a donation.
IS MY CREDIT CARD INFORMATION SECURE?
A number of safeguards are built in to protect credit card information when you honor us with a credit card donation. When you click on the DONATE NOW button you are transparently being connected to a secure website of a third party that processes the transaction for us. You are transferred to a secure page where you enter your information. Various technologies and processes are in place including limited access, encryption of your data, physical security and other measures. The data you enter can not be accessed by anyone on our website, because the data is not stored by us. It is stored by the third party that processes your request. The secure items installed by them make it extremely difficult for anyone to intercept credit card information.
IS MY PERSONAL INFORMATION SECURE AND HOW IS IT USED?
We do not sell or trade your personal information to anyone, it is maintained by the third party, with very limited access by personnel working for our organization. If you call us with a donation, we keep that data in paper form only, in a secure location. It also has very limited access by personnel within our organization. We do have personal information in several databases that allow us to track donations made to us over time. If you have made a donation as a memorial or as a living honor to someone, and do not tell us otherwise, the name and city of the person you are remembering is listed in our quarterly newsletter, along with the name of those you want to know who the donation was from. No address, city, or amount of a donation is shown in our newsletter. We also send a letter to the person you are honoring, or those you want informed of a memorial donation. Your name is listed is listed on the letter as making the donation and the reason for the donation, but no address, city or amount of the donation is shown. If you do not want your name to appear in a newsletter or a letter to someone regarding a donation, simply place a note with your donation informing us of your request, or call our toll free number 1-888-541-2848, and let us know.