Is a Disaster Relief Volunteer Really Needed?
The disaster relief volunteer is essential to maximize relief efforts of governments, non-govermental organizations and non-profit organizations. In an article in the International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, authors noted, “Despite highly specialised and capable emergency management systems, ordinary citizens are usually first on the scene in an emergency or disaster, and remain long after official services have ceased. Citizens often play vital roles in helping those affected to respond and recover, and can provide invaluable assistance to official agencies.”
For example, in 2014, a Malaysia Airlines flight went missing. There were 1,235 square miles of images taken by a satellite that needed to be analyzed and marked for potential evidence of the flight. Thousands of people volunteered to review those images online, marking anything that might be worth further investigation.
Likewise, on the ground, volunteers’ hands, feet and strength add to the overall ability to serve those in immediate need. Typically, no one government or organization has all the resources to meet the needs of those recently affected by a flood, tornado or earthquake.
Before the volunteer can be effective though, there needs to be a framework in place to make the most of all those extra hands and feet. Non-profit organizations like GFA World have networks of programs and churches in many vulnerable places in the world, ready to respond as soon as disaster strikes.
The first way to volunteer in any disaster, no matter where or what it is, would be to pray for those affected. Read about the situation in those areas and lift up the needs of those people to the Father who hears.
A second way to volunteer is financially. Donating to GFA World’s Compassion Services and disaster relief, for example, guarantees that your donation will go to workers already in place to best serve the area affected. Compassion Services teams can bring food, water, medicine and other urgently needed resources. They also can counsel those they serve and pray for them, as many of them have lost family members, livelihoods and possessions.
GFA missionaries love Jesus Christ and long to share God’s love and care to those they serve. They are also from the area where they serve, so they have the language and cultural background to relate lovingly and effectively to those in need.
Donate to GFA World today for disaster relief and know that your gift will make the most loving impact possible, right away.Learn more on disaster relief organizations
 Joshua Whittaker, Blythe McLennan, John Handmer. “A review of informal volunteerism in emergencies and disasters: Definition, opportunities and challenges.” International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2015.07.010. September 2015.
 Michael Martinez and John Newsome. “Crowdsourcing volunteers comb satellite photos for Malaysia Airlines jet.” CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2014/03/11/us/malaysia-airlines-plane-crowdsourcing-search. March 12, 2014.