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Disaster programs find new umbrella agency

The Washington Association of Churches’ (WAC) Board of Directors decided in July to close their disaster response and recovery program, Washington Faith Based Disaster Recovery Network (WFBDRN), effective Oct. 1, 2007.

It encouraged the network to seek a new umbrella organization. Associated Ministries of Tacoma-Pierce County has agreed to be the new umbrella agency. With this change an Advisory Board is being established to manage the network.

Neil Molenaar, who has been manager of WAC’s program since 1997, will mentor and coordinate this change from his retirement office in East Wenatchee.

Neil reports that the WFBDRN will consider becoming an independent nonprofit with its own 501(c)3 and Board of Directors. It is also exploring how it can expand its network by becoming more diversified and inclusive.

“We appreciate the years that WAC has maintained, supported and encouraged a vital disaster response and recovery program in the state,” he said. “It provided the essential ‘building blocks’ that will now enable WFBDRN to move pro-actively into the future and expand its sphere of influence.”

A major component to enable WFBDRN to have a successful future, he said, is a collaborative working relationship with Washington Voluntary Organizations Active In Disaster (WAVOAD) and the Washington Emergency Management Department.

WFBDRN and WAVOAD will also work with staff from the Governor’s office to design a more comprehensive disaster response and recovery program to serve the multiple needs generated when a disaster impacts Washington State residents and communities.

For information, call 360-710-7248 or email

Mary Stamp - The Fig Tree - Copyright © October 2007