Did you send a check to LCMS Disaster Relief in St. Louis and specify you wanted your dollars to go to Hurricane Harvey victims? Do you know what happened to your contributions?
First, some good news. If you instead sent your contribution to the Texas District of the LCMS and specified your dollars were for Harvey victims, every single dollar you sent to our Texas District is going to Harvey relief. As of November 22, over $1,000,000 has been received by the Texas District and most of it has already been distributed. That percentage will quickly rise to 100%. Not a dime was kept by the district office as it gathered, and then quickly distributed your funds to families with needs. This is selfless of our Texas District since staff time has been heavily used for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. And, this has been a labor of love for them.
But, what if you sent your Hurricane Harvey donations to LCMS headquarters St. Louis?
It is not well-known that our National Headquarters Disaster Relief staff does NOT send every donated dollar to victims of Harvey and other disasters. Instead, our Synod headquarters keeps between 6 – 12% of contributed dollars to compensate itself for distributing your disaster contributions.. In the case of Hurricane Harvey, some at the International Center (I.C.) are proud they have decided to retain as much as 6% of the donations to compensate the I.C. for its ‘efforts.’
If St. Louis does not get requests equal to the dollar amounts contributed, it does not actively seek to quickly distribute your funds. It could be many months before your contributions make it to Hurricane Harvey victims. It’s even possible our Synod headquarters will never directly distribute your contributions to Harvey relief. Instead, your funds might eventually be melded into helping to pay for other Synod Disaster Relief efforts or expenses unrelated to Hurricane Harvey.
Our Synod leadership needs to change their ways, or, we need new, ethical leadership at our headquarters in St. Louis.
Congregations Matter. So do Hurricane Harvey victims.