Palm Beach, FL, May 16th, 2019. Members Church of Scientology Volunteers Ministers of Tampa represented the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response at the Annual Meeting Florida of VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) at Palm Beach Convention Center.
In advance of Hurricane season, 29 organizations met to coordinate. Represented were American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Florida Division of Emergency Management, Miami Dade County, just to name some of the amazing organizations that share the same vision “TOGETHER WE AMPLIFY”, the National VOAD motto.
The annual meeting of Florida VOAD, which installed the new VOAD board, was held at the Governor’s Hurricane Conference in the Palm Beach Convention Center in West Palm Beach. Catholic Charities welcomed everyone and started the meeting with introducing the first speaker Deputy Director Emergency Management for the State of Florida, Kevin Guthrie.
Kevin Smith formerly of the Salvation Army, is currently with Homeland Security and working for FEMA. He emphasized how valuable faith based groups and organizations were in disaster response and recognized how hard they work to help. He went over the needs of the immigrants at the border and how the faith based groups were needed to help these people in desperate situations and circumstances as well.
Pam Hughes of FEMA stated that they were working on background checks for spontaneous volunteers as the current checks took too long, and this needs to be resolved. This would be a huge help in getting more volunteers on the ground.
The elections were held just before the close of the meeting. Chair- Jessica Geib- The Salvation Army, Vice chair/Chari Elect- Keith Heinly, United Way of Florida, Treasurer- Wayne Tracy, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter, Secretary- Judy Fagerman, Volunteer Ministers Church of Scientology.
“A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence, rather he is trained to handle these thing and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well” L. Ronald Hubbard