Presbyterians Spread Gulf-Coast Gifts Over 7 Years

Some $14 million of the $23 million collected by the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance will be spread out over a seven-year period.

At a recent meeting, the PDA advisory board planned out how the $14.4 million remaining from the Hurricane response will be used. About 70 percent of the contributions were made within 90 days after the storms, but the PDA spent only $4.5 million by February. About $4 million has also been designated for pastoral support and church rebuilding.

According to the Layman – an independent conservative newsletter on the denomination – several Presbyterians in the Gulf Coast region complained that their churches and people have been slow to receive assistance. Complaints surrounded slow response as well as added requirements from PC(USA)-related churches when requesting assistance.

The PDA responded to such criticism by explaining in a news release that “the area of need is larger than Great Britain.

"We don't have a U.S. model for a response of this size and complexity,” wrote PDC coordinator Susan Ryan. “But based on our analysis of the need and our experiences over the last decade, the volume of work ahead will require at least seven more years of repair, rebuilding and interpersonal services."