Program Director of Lutheran Disaster Response-U.S., John Pyron, has been doing disaster response work for over 15 years. Today, he shares why he supports local disaster response agencies like Lutheran Disaster Response-Eastern Pennsylvania (LDR-EPA). John confirms that your gift makes a difference and how supporting LDR-EPA can help flood survivors overcome unimaginable obstacles.

I’ve been involved in disaster response work since 2004 and started as a volunteer on the Gulf Coast in Mobile, Alabama following Hurricane Ivan. Throughout the years I have served in a variety of roles from construction to long-term recovery group coordination. I’ve also served with two Lutheran Social Service agencies before transitioning into the role of Program Director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America’s (ELCA) Lutheran Disaster Response-US (LDR-US) program, which is where I am now.

Our program engages a national network of Lutheran synods as well as Lutheran social service organizations and external partners that respond to the needs of people and communities impacted by disasters. We understand that all disasters are local and our focus is to empower local communities to engage and recover. We support local organizations like Liberty Lutheran and Lutheran Disaster Response- Eastern Pennsylvania (LDR-EPA) because we know that they are the ones on the ground who are closest to the needs of those impacted by disaster.

Everything we do is survivor-centric. When we support LDR-EPA we are ensuring that the people impacted by disasters can get the assistance that they need.

For Those Who Have Lost Everything, Your Gift Means the World! Give to LDR-EPA and help flood survivors today. Visit our Giving Page by clicking here.

The majority of funding that we receive comes from direct contributions and a lot of them are 20 or 50 dollars. All of those donations really do make a difference and we would not be able to support organizations like LDR-EPA without them.

Program Director of Lutheran Disaster Response-U.S., John Pyron

Governmental assistance for so many communities impacted by disasters will largely not be sufficient to meet all of their needs. This is especially the case for disasters that are small and highly localized, the ones that aren’t getting media attention. That’s where the impact of fundraising really helps to ensure those communities are not overlooked.

A great example of this is the Eastwick neighborhood of Philadelphia, where LDR-EPA is working actively. This is a historically underserved community and disastrous weather is piled onto their existing challenges, plus the tremendous impact that the pandemic has had on their everyday lives. The exciting part is when an organization like LDR-EPA works with community members to address some of their larger issues and the root causes of their vulnerability. LDR-EPA helps them not just directly after the disaster occurs, but through the long-term recovery process of rebuilding and repairing. LDR-EPA is there long-term and helps them build resiliency to make their neighborhood stronger in the future.

Churches also play an active role in disaster response as they are the prime connection to local communities. We work to engage local congregations and churches as they have trust with community members and can address the challenges they face. Congregation members can be donors, volunteers, and can be active in a variety of ways prior to and after a disaster occurs to encourage preparedness and resilience.

Part of what I enjoy most about the work that LDR does are the relationships that we build along the way. I’m referring to the relationships with local volunteers and leaders who are working on the ground where disasters happen to support all the good work that’s ongoing. We build those relationships so that the work can happen and so people can get the assistance that they need. Everything we do is survivor-centric. We do everything we can to make sure we are always following that mission. I am excited to support the work that LDR-EPA is doing and look forward to other additional partnerships in the future.

Your gift makes a difference! With your support, LDR-EPA can help flood survivors throughout eastern Pennsylvania repair homes and build resiliency for future storms. After Hurricane Ida and several flash flood events this past summer, we know that more than 250 families will need our help to reach long-term recovery.

You can be a part of it! Give a gift to LDR-EPA and support individuals and families who have lost so much due to severe weather and flash floods.

And Celebrate Giving Tuesday with LDR-EPA on November 30, 2021!

Our goal is to raise $5,000 to help survivors rebuild, repair, and create resiliency for future storms. Will you help us?! Click here to get a head start on LDR-EPA’s #GivingTuesday2021, today!