A homegrown relief organization is getting a visit from some of the best in the business this week as a tribute to the group’s dedication and hard work. 

Schoharie Area Long Term, or SALT, will host Pastor Joseph Chu, associate program director of Lutheran Disaster Response; the Rev. David L. Myers, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships; and Zachary Wolgemuth, associate director of Brethren Disaster Ministries, on Tuesday. The three visitors will meet with SALT staff and board members, and tour the area to learn more about the group’s accomplishments and goals. 

“The presence of these visitors highlights the significance of the work that is being achieved by SALT and partner agencies, and has ramifications for the potential replication of our recovery model in other regions impacted by disaster,” a media release from the organization explained. “In particular, recovery efforts in the Schoharie Creek Basin have drawn national attention due to the uniqueness of our model and the breadth and pace of our accomplishments.”

Lutheran Disaster Response is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Begun in 1972, following significant flooding from Hurricane Agnes in eastern Pennsylvania, Lutheran Disaster Response brings together the energy and efforts of Lutherans from around the country to respond to disasters in the United States and its territories.

Brethren Disaster Ministries focuses on rebuilding homes, caring for children and providing international relief by engaging volunteers, supporters and partners to serve communities recovering from disaster. BDM has been leading teams of volunteers locally in Prattsville for many months and plans to expand its work north throughout the Schoharie Valley Creek basin.

The Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships is one of 12 federal agency offices/centers under President Obama’s Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The role of the Center is to maximize the participation of faith-based and community organizations in federal programs. The mission of the Center is to build resilient communities among faith-based and community organizations.

SALT is a regional coalition and coordinating council that seeks to provide interfaith and inter-agency resources, advocacy, healing, and support as well as direct recovery assistance to those affected by flood and storm damage from 2011. For more information, visit http://saltrecovery.org.

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