Descriptions of Nonprofits Working in Disasters

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The U.S. Chamber BCLC partnered with NVOAD (National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) to compile this list of NVOAD member organizations that support one of more phases in the disaster lifecycle. To learn which organizations are active in each phase, visit the Preparedness, Response, and Recovery pages. 

A listing on this page does not designate an endorsement of the organization by the U.S. Chamber BCLC. Listings are for informational purposes.

 

Adventist Community Services (ACS) is the humanitarian arm of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church of North America.  ACS Disaster Response (ACS DR) a leading in-kind donations management organization in the U.S., specializing in the handling of undesignated donated goods.  ACS DR operates under agreements with FEMA, the American Red Cross, the Aidmatrix Foundation, and over 40 states. 

 

ACTS World Relief unites, trains, and equips responders in emergency response and community service, demonstrating the compassion of God, regardless of race and religion. 

 

Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS) provide leadership and support to members and affiliates to advance the capacity of a standards-driven information and referral industry that brings people and services together. 

 

All Hands Volunteers provides hands-on assistance to survivors of natural disasters around the world, with maximum impact and minimum bureaucracy. By supporting volunteers with housing, meals, tools, and organized work at no charge, All Hands is able to provide free and effective response services to communities in need. Programs are directed by the needs of each community in which it works, ensuring a timely, relevant, and culturally sensitive response. 

 

American Logistics Aid Network (ALAN) engages the supply chain community to support humanitarian relief efforts and provides a primary point of contact for logistics professionals willing to provide disaster relief support in the United States.  Through its Aidmatrix Network web portal, ALAN serves as a clearinghouse for supply chain expertise, products, equipment, and services such as transportation, warehousing, and material handling.  

 

American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement that provides relief to survivors of disasters and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.  

 

American Radio Relay League (ARRL) is the national association for amateur radio with over 157,000 members in the U.S.  For 100 years, amateur radio operators have provided communications when normal means are down or overloaded.  

 

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) was established following the attacks of September 11, 2001, to train qualified volunteers as crisis chaplains and deploy them to effectively meet the emotional and spiritual needs of those suffering from major disasters. 

 

Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, U.S.A is an international volunteer-led charitable organization that provides humanitarian aid, spiritual care, and medical services to individuals, families, and communities locally and internationally.  Tzu Chi Foundation, U.S.A. focuses on four major areas: charitable, medical, education, and humanistic cultural services.  

 

Church of the Brethren Disaster Ministries restores hope for the most vulnerable disaster survivors by engaging volunteers to repair and rebuild storm-damaged homes, and by providing grants to support the disaster recovery efforts of faith-based partners.  Children Disaster Services (CDS) meets the needs of children by setting up child care centers in shelters and disaster assistance centers.  Specially trained to respond to traumatized children, volunteers provide a calm, safe, and reassuring presence.  CDS also educates parents and caregivers on how to help children cope.  

 

Catholic Charities USA has a mission to provide services to people in need, to advocate for justice in social structures, and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same.   CCUSA local agencies’ disaster relief and recovery services include emergency food, shelter, direct financial assistance, counseling, and support.  

 

Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (CRWRC) Disaster Response Services volunteers give their time and talent to help clear debris, assess needs, and rebuild homes after a disaster strikes.  CRWRC partners with NVOAD and Church World Services.  

 

Churches of Scientology Disaster Response provides spiritual care as well as assists with the unmet material needs of survivors, responders, and care givers who are affected by trauma, loss, upset, stress, and confusion after a disaster.  This is accomplished in a variety of ways immediately following an incident.  CSDR volunteers also assist other disaster organizations in need of volunteers to carry out their tasks.  

 

Church World Service Emergency Response Program has a mission to provide effective and compassionate response to the physical, psychological, and spiritual needs of persons and communities affected by natural and human-caused disasters.  CWS focuses on both immediate emergency assistance and long-term support that helps survivors take ownership of the recovery process.  

 

CityTeam International Disaster Response began after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake to shelter and care for survivors.  CityTeam International is a non-denominational Christian organization.

 

Convoy of Hope is a faith-based organization with a mission to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreach, disaster response, and partner resourcing.  Convoy of Hope’s Disaster is considered a first responder organization, with a fleet of tractor-trailers, a 300,000 square-foot warehouse, and a high-tech mobile command center.  It uses its points of distribution model to provide resources and help to disaster survivors.  

 

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is not a disaster relief organization but responds when major disasters strike through its own resources or partner organizations.  The model for its disaster response ministries is a long-term presence to help communities recover and rebuild.  When gift-in-kind donations are helpful in disaster relief, the Fellowship serves as a clearinghouse, matching a donor with a need in the disaster zone.  It may establish a designated fund to which churches can financially contribute for a specific disaster.  When volunteers are needed, the Fellowship invites individuals and groups to apply for service opportunities.   

 

Episcopal Relief & Development is an international relief and development agency serving on behalf of the Episcopal Church of the United States.  When disaster strikes, it helps:  deliver life-saving supplies such as medicine, blankets, and food for emergency shelters or camps; provide shelter along with trauma counseling and psycho-social services to survivors;  repair and construct homes, schools, health clinics, roads, water systems, and community centers to replace those destroyed; residents restore the social and economic fabric of their communities by providing educational opportunities and improving access to legal services and home ownership; and train and equip local churches to prepare for and respond to disasters.  

 

Feeding America has a mission to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and to engage in the fight to end hunger.  Feeding America collects, transports, warehouses, and distributes food and personal care items through its national network of food banks.   It prepositions emergency food and personal care items at strategically designated locations throughout the country and regularly cycles the inventory to ensure freshness and safety.   

 

Feed the Children is a Christian international nonprofit relief organization whose mission is to deliver food, medicine, clothing, and other necessities to families who lack these essentials due to famine, war, poverty, or natural disaster.  

 

Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope.  

 

Hands on Network, the volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute, is the largest volunteer network in the nation, including corporate, faith and nonprofit organizations.  

 

Hope Coalition America, a program of Operation Hope, Inc., helps clients recover financially from natural disasters, foreclosures, and other emergencies by providing financial guidance to victims of such disasters. Operation HOPE, an organization skilled at mobilizing volunteers from the financial services industry, through its Hope Coalition America division offers highly versatile and rapidly-deployable resources to help people needing financial guidance before, during and after disasters.   

 

HOPE Worldwide, Ltd. is an international charity.  It works with partners such as the America Red Cross to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies and keep hope alive, uses a large international volunteer base with centers on six continents, and takes steps to provide community-based, long term and sustainable assistance. 

 

Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Emergency Services Animal Rescue Team supports local animal control and humane organizations and government agencies in the rescue, transport, and emergency sheltering of animals if invited by local authorities who have been exhausted or overwhelmed by the disaster. Using trained staff and volunteers in an ICS-structured team, the Humane Society works cooperatively with other disaster response agencies to ensure that families and animals, and animals alone, are brought from harm and given care and shelter until they can be returned to their homes.  

 

International Critical Incident Stress Foundation, Inc. (ICISF) is dedicated to the prevention and mitigation of disabling stress through the provision of education, training, and support services for all emergency services professionals; continuing education and training in emergency mental health services for the mental health community; and consultation in the establishment of crisis and disaster response programs for varied organizations and communities worldwide. 

 

International Relief and Development is committed to reduce the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable groups and provide the tools and/or resources needed to increase their self-sufficiency.  IRD Relief & Humanitarian Assistance teams are first responders.  They respond to immediate needs and then continue support through critical recovery and rehabilitation phases.  

 

Jewish Federations of North America is an umbrella organization that mobilizes financial and social resources through its philanthropic endeavors, strategic initiatives, and international agencies to strengthen the Jewish people.  

 

Latter-day Saints Charities strive to provide immediate assistance following disasters.  The Church provides food and other relief supplies as needed.  

 

Lutheran Disaster Response promotes hope, healing, and wholeness for disaster survivors.  

 

Mennonite Disaster Service is a volunteer network of Anabaptist churches that responds to those affected by disaster in Canada and the United States.  While the main focus is on clean up, repair, and rebuilding homes, this service touches lives and nurtures hope, faith, and wholeness.  

 

Mercy Medical Airlift’s mission is to ensure that no needy patient is denied access to distant specialized medical evaluation, diagnosis, or treatment for lack of a means of long-distance medical air transportation; and of urgent transportation in situations of compelling human need and homeland security emergencies.   

 

Mission in North America / Presbyterian Church in America provides support to PCA churches in disaster-affected communities through a network of staff and volunteer damage assessment teams, first response teams, site managers, and key leaders. MNA recruits and mobilizes volunteers, receives and distributes supplies and equipment, brings awareness of specific needs, channels raised recovery funds, focuses prayer, and provides spiritual encourage to PCA families and their communities.  

 

National Association of Jewish Chaplains (NAJC) is a professional organization of Jewish chaplains, promoting the highest standards of training, certification, and delivery of care.  

 

National Baptist Convention, USA seeks to lessen the impact of disasters and potential catastrophic incidents by meeting the needs of communities through preparedness and mitigation, increasing a community’s ability to respond when a disaster occurs while reducing the effects of unavoidable emergencies.    

 

National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) champions dignity and compassion for victims of crime and crisis. It provides training for crime victim advocates and crisis responders in a trauma mitigation protocol as well as staffing a toll-free victim assistance telephone line and educating political leaders on policy issues. 

 

Nazarene Disaster Response is Nazarenes mobilizing for disasters through readiness, response, and recovery.  Local Nazarenes serve and remain with disaster victims in their own neighborhoods. In large-scale events the denomination can assist local efforts with the support of volunteers and donors from across the country and through partnerships with other disaster relief agencies. Nazarenes concentrate assist on the poor, elderly, and handicapped.  

 

NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster is a voluntary organization providing cleanup and recovery assistance to homes and communities affected by natural disasters. Guided by the Jewish value of Tikkum Olam (repairing the world) through acts of goodness, NECHAMA (Hebrew for comfort) offers a helping hand in the spirit of goodwill and creating mutual respect among all people. NECHAMA volunteers assess storm damage; sandbag; chain saw and remove fallen trees; pump flood water from rooms and basements; remove contaminated building materials, appliances and personal effects; sanitize and dry surfaces to prevent mold growth; and otherwise prepare homes to be re-occupied by the owners so that fix-up and reconstruction may begin.  

 

Noah’s Wish has the singular mission to save animals during disasters with its rescue and recovery services and to mitigate the impact of disasters on animals through educational and outreach programs.  

 

Operation Blessing International has a mission to demonstrate God’s love by alleviating human suffering in the United States and around the world through core programs of disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, orphan care, water wells, and community development.  

 

Presbyterian Church U.S.A. / Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is an emergency and refugee program focusing on the long term recovery of disaster impacted communities.  Volunteer work teams help families rebuild and restore their homes or to do other disaster recovery work.  

 

Rebuilding Together brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. It provides critical home repairs, extensive rehabilitation, modifications and improvements for America’s low-income homeowners. Rebuilding Together rebuilds the homes and lives of the nation’s most vulnerable homeowners and families at no cost to those served.    

 

Salvation Army is an international movement and an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its disaster program consists of several basic services: food service, shelter, emergency financial assistance to individuals and families through casework specialists, donations management, emotional and spiritual care, emergency communications, disaster case management, clean-up and reconstruction, and partnerships.   

 

Samaritan’s Purse is a non-denominational Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. It specializes in meeting critical needs for victims of war, disaster, famine, and epidemics in the world’s most troubled regions.  

 

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children. When disaster strikes around the world, Save the Children is there to save lives with food, medical care, and education, and remains to help communities rebuild through long-term recovery programs.  

 

Society of St. Vincent de Paul is a Catholic organization that embraces all works of charity and justice. Vincentians seek their personal holiness through works of charity.  

 

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is a Christ-centered partnership serving through the local church to bring help, healing, and hope to individuals and communities affected by disaster.  

 

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has as its mission to alleviate human suffering, whether caused by war, conflict, or natural disaster, with open hearts and minds to all people. UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community’s ability to recovery on its own. UMCOR offers disaster preparedness training, provides essential supplies and care – both physical and psychological – in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, and supports long-term rebuilding efforts and assists communities as they adapt.  

 

United Church of Christ through its Office of National Disaster Ministries provides assistance with acute and/or long-term effects of natural or technologically-caused disasters.  

 

United Way Worldwide improves lives by mobilizing the caring power of communities around the world to advance the common good.  United Way does not provide services directly but coordinates with United Way chapters and the 2-1-1 network.  It coordinates and supports a 2-1-1 Disaster Response Team.  

Note: The terms "response" and recovery used in the NGO descriptions may not always be consistent with their meanings as defined by BCLC's Disaster Lifecycle. Visit NGO websites to learn more about their capabilities and approach to disasters.