We are thankful for the tens of thousands of volunteers who have offered themselves in service helping to clean, repair and rebuild homes of families affected by numerous disasters throughout the United States. 

While it has been three months since Hurricane Sandy struck New Jersey and New York; thousands of families are still homeless and the recovery – like Hurricane Katrina – will take years. As with Hurricane Katrina, many families will need the faithful witness and service of volunteers to help rebuild their homes.

Therefore, as an act of solidarity with families affected by Hurricane Sandy and other disasters throughout the United States, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is asking that you designate February 17, 2013 — the first Sunday in Lent (and beginning of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering promotion) — as “wear your blue PDA T-shirt Sunday”. We know there are thousands of you who have ‘earned’ a PDA T-shirt through your faithful service of ministering to survivors of other disasters.

PDA is working with churches that have volunteered to host and with ecumenical partners to ensure that volunteer service best meets the needs of families who were most impacted and provides a meaningful witness for you. We are also confirming that hosting sites have the ability to provide facilities that are clean, safe and have a welcoming atmosphere. 

The PDA Call Center is taking the names and contact information for teams wanting to volunteer for Hurricane Sandy rebuilding efforts. As opportunities are identified, you will be notified of when and where those opportunities exist.

While Hurricane Sandy is the most visible need, we encourage you to remember that ongoing needs still exist in many other parts of the country and ask that you prayerfully also consider serving in some of these communities still struggling to recover.

Some locations that have particularly requested additional volunteer work teams are Nashville, Tennessee, Little Rock, Arkansas and Alabama.

Other work sites needing assistance can be found on the PDA volunteer opportunity web site.

Please contact the PDA Call Center or call 866-732-6121 to discuss your team’s interest in Hurricane Sandy volunteer opportunities or to register to work at one of the sites in need of volunteers now and in the future.

One more thing; please broadly share this note and take photos of your congregation wearing their PDA t-shirts so that we can make a collage of congregations participating in this initiative. Thank you.