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Disaster Response
Update on Disaster Relief Efforts in Coal City, IL and Surrounding Area Print E-mail
storms On the evening of June 22nd, Coal City and the surrounding villages were struck by a tornado causing a significant amount of damage. This is the second tornado to hit this town in the last two years. Ken Cupples, LCC Disaster Response Coordinator, had “boots on the ground” the following days. He found most of the immediate needs of the survivors to have been met. Coal City and Braidwood have constructed an excellent and thorough disaster response plan since the 2013 tornado. LCC has respected the wishes of the towns’ CERT to encourage all volunteers through the United Way based in Braidwood.

Many LERT volunteers did join the hundreds of others the first weekend open. Trinity, Lisle members came in with a hot dog stand and fed many residents and volunteers at a local Coal City church. LCC K-9 Comfort Dog teams visited with survivors and volunteers this past week. Ed Boerman, LCC’s Chainsaw Training Director/Instructor, had signed up LCC chainsaw crews as available to help with downed trees. AmeriCorps is currently speaking with Ed Boerman about the possibility of deploying LERT certified chainsaw operators into Braidwood. Once we know the needs, a notification will come through email with specifics and the meeting location for whoever is able to work.


LCC is the NID Disaster Response Coordinator and respects the wishes of local governmental authorities. At this time, our Disaster Response Team members are continually offering our LERT volunteers to help in this recovery. Authorities of the affected areas have noted our offerings and they have asked us to wait until they contact us to respond. The CERT of Coal City/Braidwood is accepting individual volunteers but are still restricting large groups coming without their approval or invitation.

Any LERT volunteers who wish to help may do so at the Diamond Banquet Hall in Braidwood, Illinois 60416 (on Hwy 113). We ask that LERT members to continue to monitor their email for alerts and updates from the LCC Disaster Response Team on this particular disaster. Thank you for your patience and willingness to help in this time of need.

To help support LCC’s Disaster Relief efforts, CLICK HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 17:21
Update on June 22nd tornadoes in Coal City, IL Print E-mail
storms LCC’s Disaster Response Director, Ken Cupples, has been on the scene since the tornadoes touched down. He has met with all the key players that are involved with the city and their disaster response efforts. He has walked the streets in the affected areas and talked with homeowners about any needs they may have.

Here is where we are:

Coal City was hit with a similar situation 2 years ago. As a result they have in place a very thorough DR plan.

The city has asked United Way to coordinate all volunteers coming into the city. Since there is no LCMS church in town, the closest LCMS church is 10 miles away, and since LCC has not received any requests from families for assistance for cleanup at this point, it was decided that the best way for us to respond is by working through the great organization they already have in place.

storms IF you want to help, here is what you can do:

At 8 am on Friday and/or Saturday go to the Diamond Banquet Hall in Braidwood, Illinois 60416 (on Hwy 113). Sign in there to volunteer. Workers and chainsaw people are needed.

If you have any questions you can contact LCC DR Director Ken Cupples at 815-791-1646 (cell).

If there happens to be too many volunteers and not enough work – another option would be to volunteer either Friday or Saturday at Lutheran Church Charities’ new Location where we just moved. We are now located at 3020 Milwaukee Ave, Northbrook IL (St. John Church in the Woods) Our location is in the middle of the forest preserve and we have plenty of outside chainsaw and landscaping that needs to be done. If you would like to do this, please contact Joel Moritz at 847-287-1801 (cell) or Phil Bandy at 847-363-2162 (cell).

Please keep everyone in Coal City and the surrounding area in your prayers.

Peace and Healing in Christ Jesus,
The LCC Disaster Coordination Team

  • Tim Hetzner
  • Dianna Bonfield
  • Joel Moritz
  • Sherry Bolosan
  • Roger Pollock
  • Ed Boerman
  • Ken Cupples
  • Derek Kowalczyk

Help support the Disaster Response work of LCC DONATE HERE

Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 June 2015 12:52
LERT Training “Helping Children Cope After a Disaster” Print E-mail
LERT On Saturday, May 30, 25 volunteers consisting of LERT credentialed, K-9 and Kare-9 handlers, and other volunteers attended a LERT Advanced Training workshop on Helping Children Heal After a Disaster. This particular workshop is one of the new advanced trainings offered by LCC and was held at the new LCC Headquarters and Ministry Center in Northbrook, Illinois. A special thank you to LCC volunteers Dr. Lauren Wellan, Professor of Literacy and Early Childhood Education at CUC, and Licensed Professional Counselor, LERT Volunteer and Comfort Dog Handler, Kathleen Terzinski.

If you as an individual, a group, or a congregation have found your special niche in Disaster Response please contact Dianna Bonfield of the DDRT at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and tell her about it.

To donate to LCC's Disaster Responds Outreach Ministry CLICK HERE.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 June 2015 16:40
Texas and Oklahoma Flooding Needs Your Help Print E-mail
Texas Floods LCC President Tim Hetzner has been in contact with Dr. Kurt Sensek of Lutheran Social Services of the South, and LCC received a request for assistance from Upbring Disaster Response (formerly Lutheran Social Services Disaster Response, or LSSDR). Central Texas is reeling after storm systems caused devastating flooding over Memorial Day weekend. The full region affected now stretches from west Texas through Oklahoma and western Louisiana, with 37 Texas counties currently under disaster declarations. San Marcos and Wimberley (Texas) are active scenes for Emergency Management, including search and rescue operations, where 350+ homes have been destroyed and at least 1000 more flooded across the region.

Current needs Upbring Disaster Response have identified are:

  • Short-Term Emergency Needs - Provide gift cards and emergency grants to families in immediate need of food/shelter/clothing; ongoing until the funds run out.
  • Long-Term Response and Recovery - A coordinated response to assist low-income families without insurance who lost their homes and possessions, and renters stripped of their belongings. We are expecting this to be multi-year response, unlike most.
  • Spiritual/Emotional Care - Counseling and spiritual care services to individuals seeking prayerful comfort and emotional support, immediately and long-term.
  • Travel Expenses - LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs have deployed to Bethany Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas to serve the various communities.

To support those affected by the devastating flooding, CLICK HERE

Click here to donate to the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Travel Fund

Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 June 2015 13:55
LERT Training Adds 49 Print E-mail
LERT Training The Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, 49 volunteers completed their certification as LERT (Lutheran Early Response Team) volunteers at Trinity Lutheran Church in Roselle, IL. With the 28 volunteers from Trinity Roselle who were credentialed we now have 43 LERT Teams in the Northern Illinois District who can respond to tornados and other disasters. Our list of credentialed LERT volunteers increased from 918 to 967 volunteers in the Northern Illinois District.

A total of ten congregations sent volunteers to be certified. Representatives came from: Living Christ, Arlington Heights; St. John , Burlington; Immanuel, Downers Grove; Trinity, Genoa; St. Peter, Gilberts; St Peter, Hampshire; Lord of Life, La Fox; Trinity, Lisle and St John, Wheaton.

We welcome all our new LERT volunteers and pray in thanksgiving that we now have almost 1,000 people trained in disaster response to share the mercy, compassion , presence and proclamation of Christ to those who are hurting.

If you as an individual, a group, or a congregation have found your special niche in Disaster Response please contact Dianna Bonfield of the DDRT at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and tell her about it.

To donate to LCC's Disaster Responds Outreach Ministry CLICK HERE.

Last Updated on Monday, 01 June 2015 13:35
Finding Your Niche In Disaster Response Ministry Print E-mail
LERT The recent tornado that tore through Rochelle, IL last month on April 9th was the catalyst that helped the Older Adult Ministry of St. Paul Lutheran Church of Rochelle find their niche in disaster response. In August of 2009, St Paul Rochelle was the very first congregation to host LERT Training for lay people. That evening, LCC trained and certified our first 50 LERT volunteers. Twenty of those volunteers were from St Paul Rochelle and formed their first team. Five years later some of those folks are now in there 70s, 80s, & 90s but are not wanting to step down from being involved with Disaster Response even though they need to leave deployment and the physical work to the younger folks. Along with other friends in the Older Adult Ministry, they started a ministry group called Grandma’s Disaster Cookies: Packed with Prayer; Shared with Appreciation.

The group decided to take on the project of serving as a "volunteer" to make and deliver a minimum of 10 dozen cookies to the coordination center for one work day for any disaster that is within 100 miles of Rochelle.

This past Saturday, the LCC Chainsaw Crew had a workday at Walcamp, where they helped fell trees damaged by the winter storms plus clear away brush and downed trees that blocked hiking trails around the camp. The LCC Chainsaw Crews thanks Grandma’s Disaster Cookies for the 10 dozen cookies they sent for the afternoon break time. They were oh so good!!!

If you as an individual, a group, or a congregation have found your special niche in Disaster Response please contact Dianna Bonfield of the DDRT at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and tell her about it.

To donate to LCC's Disaster Responds Outreach Ministry CLICK HERE.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 08:23
Chainsaw Training Crew Cleans Up at Walcamp Print E-mail
LERT Last Saturday, 35 LERT (Lutheran Early Response Team) volunteers descended on Walcamp Outdoor Ministries in Kingston, IL to receive their chainsaw certification. After their training, the newly certified chainsaw team members joined 21 other chainsaw crew members in a workday for Walcamp. In addition to the LERT chainsaw team, 51 other volunteers cleared trees and helped Walcamp prepare for the upcoming summer camping programs which begin in June.

If you are interested in helping out after a disaster or crisis, become LERT certified. LCC has three Basic LERT Training Certification Sessions remaining in 2015. For more information or to register CLICK HERE.

To donate to LCC's Disaster Responds Outreach Ministry CLICK HERE.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 May 2015 08:25
New LERT Training Classes Help Prepare for the Next Disaster Print E-mail
LERT logo LCC held a LERT (Lutheran Early Response Team) Basic Training session at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Morrison, IL this past Saturday. Over 30 new members from eight different congregations earned their LERT Certification in a class lead by Ed and Jan Boerman. We are thankful for this new addition of volunteers who will join in sharing the mercy and compassion of Christ in disaster recovery. We cannot do it without your involvement and support.

If you are interested in helping out after a disaster or crisis, become LERT certified. LCC has three Basic LERT Training Certification Sessions remaining in 2015. CLICK HERE for more information or to register.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 April 2015 09:03
Update on Rochelle, Fairdale and the Destruction In-Between Print E-mail
Rochelle Last Saturday almost 150 volunteers returned to the path of the tornado between Rochelle and Fairdale, Illinois. Teams were dispatched to cut trees blown over by the wind, clear lumber and materials thrown about by the tornado, and clear the debris from fields so farmers could start planting. Unlike the previous week where crews were deployed in towns, most of our crews this weekend followed the tornado’s path across farms to help clean up destroyed barns and clear fields.

RochelleA number of our chain saw crews were made up of firefighters from areas as close as Immanuel Lutheran Church in Belvidere and as far away as the city of Chicago. This past Saturday alone, hundreds of severely damaged trees were downed or cut into manageable pieces and stacked so city, county and state crews with heavy-duty equipment could dispose of them.

Again, it was the stories of people whose homes were destroyed or heavily damaged, but who by the grace of God were spared, that made the impact on our volunteers. The volunteers were also impacted by the great cooks at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lisle, Illinois who supplied a generous lunch.

Rochelle If you are a LERT-trained volunteer, you will receive e-mail notices if we need to return and help more families recover from these tornadoes.

There will be weeks of work yet in this area. To help support our efforts in Rochelle and Fairdale, CLICK HERE

CLICK HERE for select photos of some of our volunteer teams in action as they cut trees, removed debris and walked fields to help recovery.

Pastor Greg Hoffman VideoTim Hetzner, President of Lutheran Church Charities, had an opportunity to talk to Pastor Greg Hoffmann of St. Paul, Rochelle, Illinois about the impact the tornado and our volunteers have had on the community and his parish. CLICK HERE for a short video (2 minutes)

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 April 2015 18:10
Work Day Update - Northern Illinois Print E-mail
Rochelle As Christ took his disciples to a "Solitary" place, it was much like the Illinois rural areas recently hit by the latest tornadoes.

"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things." Mark 6:34

On Wednesday, April 15, LCC/NID DDRC team members Ken Cupples, Rev. Roger Pollock and Joel Moritz were in the Fairdale/Kirkland sites with our area contact, Pastor Jeremy Heilman of Trinity Lutheran, Genoa. There are many people within a large radius who have not yet received enough or any attention as of yet. Many of these resident farmers have large fields, most of which are filled with the debris from the towns. Field walkers are needed now that the sowing season is fast approaching, and farmers cannot afford the chance of their equipment getting damaged from debris in their fields.

We have also have a few more sites requiring chainsaw crews.

Rochelle On Saturday, April 18th, LCC will be stationed at St Paul Lutheran Church, Rochelle to dispatch LERT Field Walking Crews and Chainsaw Crews. The opening for sign-in will be at 8:00 AM with crews deploying as soon as 8:30 AM. It is most likely we will also deploy again Sunday. Sunday's time is tentatively set at 8:00 AM as well, but is subject to change. We will alert you via email of any changes.

Trinity Lutheran, Lisle will be serving lunch again. In order for the sign-in process to go smoothly, as well as accurate numbers for preparing food, we ask you register online HERE before arriving Saturday. Again, we will most likely need teams out again the following Sunday.

For those who will be walking the fields cleaning up debris, please wear work boots (not tennis shoes) and long pants. Also, dress in layers so you can remove layers as needed. You will need work gloves and head covering - a hat, baseball cap, etc. It is only spring, and it often feels cool, but being in the sun all day can be harmful. Bring sun glasses and sun screen. If you have a first aid kit that can be left in the car at the edge of field please bring that along. LCC will provide water for you to take out to the field with you. If you have something to carry some fruit, energy bars, healthy snacks and 4 or more bottles of water, please bring it. It is important that you keep your strength up and keep hydrated.

Please register HERE to expedite onsite check-in. CLICK HERE to donate to help those affected by the tornadoes in Northern Illinois
Last Updated on Thursday, 16 April 2015 08:40
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