It’s your story! It’s our story!
Good news! The national television broadcast "Coming Home: Hurricane Katrina Five Years Later," focusing on the work of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, has been picked up by more than 50 different NBC broadcast markets across the country. This is a wonderful opportunity to share the ministry and faithful commitment to long-term recovery that Presbyterians have made!
"Coming Home" was shown on many NBC stations on August 29, the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The story of how hurricane survivors and volunteers helping in the rebuilding efforts have touched each other’s lives is alternately heart-wrenching and deeply inspiring.
Several congregations held special screening parties to view the documentary together. In New Orleans one such screening included all the homeowners from that city that were in the film. Needless to say, it was an emotional event. One homeowner, Mr. Martin, said that he has struggled for the last 5 years to live his life in the "shadow of Katrina." But after watching the broadcast and his participation in the film, he has been able to heal, and for the first time, "Katrina has left him to move on."
Over the past five years, more than 50,000 volunteer missions have cycled through Presbyterian Volunteer Villages and congregational hosting sites in the Gulf Coast, donating more than 300,000 days (more than 2.4 million hours) of labor to those still trying to recover in the wake of hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Ike. The estimated value of the labor tops $40 million.
In another city one mother said that her 9th grade teenager was so engaged in watching the program that after the program ended, he immediately went to the Web to see if he could find the show to watch it again and show it to friends.
If your local NBC station has already aired "Coming Home," please send a note or email of thanks to the station, including specific comments from viewers. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about the program and the need for long-term disaster recovery assistance.
Find out if this film will be broadcast in your area or how you can encourage your local station to pick up the broadcast over the next six months. Once scheduled, PDA has bulletin inserts and posters you can use to help promote the broadcast in your area.
If your local NBC affiliate has not yet committed to air the program, please call -- and ask members of your congregation, presbytery and community to call -- and request the Horizons of the Spirit program, "Coming Home: Hurricane Katrina five years later." Tell them this would have a positive impact in the community as it helps to point out that recovering from a major disaster is a long process.
If the program will not air in your community, request a copy of the DVD and hold a screening at your church or other location. Enjoy this inspirational documentary that lifts up stories of ministry carried out by thousands of Presbyterians. Call Presbyterian Distribution Service at (800) 524-2612 and ask for the DVD by name and PDS #25412-10-007, or order it online.