Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lutheran organizations with confusing initials

From CrossWind Photos
In light of a conversation at a council meeting last night, during which we confused LDR and LWR, not for the first time among Lutherans; and considering the earthquake in Haiti, today's post is a brief lesson in Lutheran disaster relief organizations:
  1. There are two major Lutheran organizations that begin with "L" and end with "R": Lutheran Disaster Response (LDR) and Lutheran World Relief (LWR, not to be confused with the Lutheran World Federation, LWF). Both are joint ministries of the ELCA and the LCMS. They serve different (but complementary) purposes, but are sometimes confused with one another because they have similar initials and related goals.

  2. Luther Disaster Response focuses on domestic disaster response, recovery, and preparedness. Unlike the Red Cross, which specializes in immediate crisis response, LDR is in it for the long haul.

  3. Lutheran World Relief is a highly-respected international relief organization, which focuses on a wide array of activities, from collecting quilts to political advocacy. LWR is consistently rated one of the top international relief agencies in the world. Remember that tsunami a few years ago? Newsweek rated LWR with an "A+", topping even the Red Cross!

  4. American Lutherans tend not to know about this stuff, because we tend to be very modest and wouldn't want anyone to think we were bragging.

Over the next few days and weeks, I'm sure there will be many efforts to raise funds to support our brothers and sisters in Haiti (some of whom are Lutherans). LWR already has an announcement on their website, but it is too early for there to be a detailed report. However, should you find yourself wanting to make a contribution in some way, and you are not sure of how best to do that...LWR is always a safe way to go.

They also do chocolate and coffee. Which probably will not help with the earthquake in Haiti, but is still good to know on general principle.
~Pastor Sarah


  1. There are many org out there asking for help in Hatti. Before contributing to any org be sure to check them out very carefully to make sure they are using your donations wisely and efficiently.Personally I have found that the web site is an excellent site to visit to find out info about an using it's resources.

  2. That is a hugely important point, and it's one of the reasons why I tend to recommend LWR--they have an excellent track record, as well as having the experience to effectively deal with a situation of this magnitude.

    For the truly cautious, the Red Cross is also a good option in almost all circumstances.

    Thrivent members should really consider giving through Thrivent, because they will match part of your contribution. LWR is one of the organizations they list. Thrivent specializes in financial services, so they are pretty savvy about money stuff.