Care and Compassion Teams

volunteer group

After the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Associated Ministries, along with Pierce County Emergency Management, created Disaster Response Care Teams. The Care Teams program trains community members to be prepared to help one another and themselves should disaster strike our area.  Over the ensuing years, trainings were held quarterly in different areas of Pierce County.

For 2015, we decided to focus the quarterly trainings in one area of Pierce County. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Northeast Tacoma, which is already equipped to serve as a designated emergency shelter, was gracious enough to host the trainings. 

According to Father Kendall Haynes, “Care Teams are important to our parish and neighborhood because they embody the radical hospitality of Christ in the midst of pain and suffering.  We know neither the day nor the hour when a disaster might strike.  Having teams ready to help those in distress takes up the imperative to be prepared, as alluded to in the Gospels.”  Associated Ministries is grateful to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church for the dedication to community.

As 2016 begins, we are venturing on to a new area of the county. We are pleased to announce that Graham Evangelical Covenant Church has agreed to host the four quarterly trainings.  It was an easy decision for them as they had already decided to put together an Emergency Management Team with the goal of encouraging their congregation to think about “being prepared in a disaster.”  Kim Cole, Secretary at Graham Evangelical Covenant Church, said, “In Graham, we live below Mt. Rainier and above the Orting Valley. We deal with flooding, windstorms, downed trees and power outages that last days. As a congregation we had nothing in place to help us in the event of a widespread or long-term disaster.”

Their team traveled from Graham to NE Tacoma for both the September and November trainings to glean insight into how they could start a program at their own church.  

“The training exceeded our expectations and we are hooked on the importance of being seriously prepared in our homes, our neighborhoods and with our church family. We were grateful that many agencies have been working together already, putting together plans for a county-wide disaster, incorporating many groups in their plan. We look forward to being part of the greater plan,” said Ms. Cole.

The first training of 2016 will be held at Graham Evangelical Covenant Church (10609 234th Street East, Graham 98338) on Saturday, March 12, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM.  Refreshments and coffee will be served and people regardless of faith are welcome to attend and learn more. 

For more information or to RSVP to attend, please contact Wendy Morris at or 253-383-3056 ext. 117.

As Father Haynes states, “…participate with the Care Teams as a means of taking up the mission to love God and our neighbor not just when things are going well, but to be a light in the dark times as well.”

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