Dave Brucker is the Council President for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Diocese of Tyler and has been a volunteer since 2017 with the Disaster Services Corporation SVdPUSA. He has deployed to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, West Virginia, and several other locations. Dave is trained to run one of the programs of Disaster Services called Parish Recovery Assistance Centers. Parish Recovery Assistance Centers or P-RACs are a holistic, community-based, approach to helping families immediately after a disaster hits. Catholic organizations working together to deliver critical information and referral services along with immediate relief to the survivors of a given disaster. P-RACs are led by trained Rapid Response Teams, that will train others, to provide information on FEMA, SBA, ONA, state, and local disaster programs, and to provide assistance, supplies, registration, spiritual, and emotional care.
Below is a short narrative on Dave’s recent experience helping Hurricane Ida survivors in the Diocese of Houma Thibodaux.
“Thanks goes to the SVdP-DSC organization for the recent opportunity to assist those in need due to Hurricane Ida in South Louisiana. The primary purpose was, of course, to contribute to the eventual recovery of the physical needs and conditions of those affected. And in some small way, this was accomplished. But this deployment in particular, allowed the goodness of so many local residents to shine through. The Diocese responded with a most capable priest, Father Simon Peter, empowered to lead recovery efforts, recruit volunteers, and coordinate agencies. I saw Catholic Charities deeply involved and working side-by-side with SVdP. I saw an army of local Vincentians volunteering at the P-RACs – many full time over a couple of weeks. And many with damage of their own homes with which to contend. Most impressive was the many volunteers from the parishes that served as hosts for the P-RACs. All so generous of their time. Disasters are never a good thing, but disasters can serve to bring out the best in people, and I was so happy to see this in the people I was fortunate to work with during my short deployment. God bless SVdP-DSC for facilitating the P-RACs, and also the volunteers, and the survivors all of whom came with stories of significant challenge. May the recovery for South Louisiana be swift.”
Disaster Services is so grateful for all the support that Vincentians across the nation have provided to assist us with providing disaster recovery programs like the P-RACs. If you would like to volunteer at a Parish Recovery Assistance Center during a future disaster event, please go to www.svdpdisaster.org and click on the “Volunteer” button.