Disaster Response

Check out the list of supplies that are always needed:

June 2021

Stuff the Tonka!

Once again, this year, the WNALC will collect gift cards to Stuff the Tonka in Corpus Christi.

Congregations and individuals are encouraged to bring gift cards to the WNALC information table as an offering to the NALC Disaster Response. These are used to help families in the aftermath of natural disasters. Cards in any denomination from Home Depot, Walmart and Lowe’s are appreciated.

April 2021

Ten years ago, our family experienced a major flood in our city of Minot, North Dakota. As I reflect on June 2011 there are many things I will never forget. Our city had warnings that a flood was coming so we had time to evacuate, but that was only possible with the help of many friends and relatives. Over 11,000 residents in the Mouse River Valley in the heart of Minot had to evacuate with whatever possessions they could move in a hurry. Our home had six feet of water on the main floor when the Mouse River was done raging. Thankfully, there was no loss of life directly from the floodwaters. However, the impact on life as we knew it was great. About a third of our church families were flooded along with many businesses, churches, parks and roadways. It took us about a year and a half to restore our home.

Thinking about that time in our life, I remember the sorrow, despair, hard work and especially the waiting and waiting for contractors and workmen. I also remember the paperwork and the expense. However, even greater in my memory is the amount of help we received from friends, relatives, strangers and those groups who came to our town to help restore it. Many different church groups came and cleaned up mud, repaired homes and prayed with us in our time of need. I will never forget those kindnesses as long as I live. Because I’ve lived through a flood, I am dedicated to helping the NALC disaster response in any way I can. Our collection of physical items, money and gift cards and the work groups going to help disaster areas are so important. Knowing that there are Christian people who want to help and give of their time and resources, and many others who spend their time in prayer, makes a tremendous impact on the disaster victims. I thank you for all the support you give to NALC disaster response, and I encourage you to keep up the good work in Jesus’ name.

February 2021

Last June (2020) my husband and I made a fun road trip to pick up quilts and kits, etc. and deliver them to the NALC disaster warehouse in Caldwell, Ohio. Even though COVID-19 was heating up, we contacted churches, made our route, loaded a trailer and headed East.

Now it is time to start planning a trip for 2021. Instead of Ohio, we will probably head to a closer warehouse in Rantoul, Illinois. For all the women’s groups in North Dakota and Minnesota, be looking for a letter regarding our trip. If your church is between Minnesota and Rantoul, Illinois and you want to be included or be a drop off point for other churches, please let me know.

Would you like to get more involved in NALC Disaster Response? Here are some ideas for you.

  • Plan your own road trip. Contact me if you want or need help!
  • Schedule a “Stuff the Truck” event for your mission district and perhaps nearby mission districts to participate. Mary Bates, NALC-Disaster Response will provide a truck. Please email her at disasterresponse@thenalc.org for more information on how to do that.
  • Hold a “Stuff the Tonka” at your church to collect gift cards for the appropriate stores: Walmart, Lowes, and Home Depot
  • Bring items to Lutheran Week in Corpus Christi, TX in August

From east to west, here are the cities and states where the warehouses are located.

EAST:                                 Baltimore, MD      Statesville, NC      Kings Mountain, NC                                                  

MIDEAST:                          Caldwell, OH        Owosso, MI           Rantoul, IL

PLAINS:                             Edmond, OK         Rosenberg, TX      Tyler, TX

WEST:                                Fresno, CA

Please contact me with questions by snail mail — Jill Nesheim, 805 Walford Rd, Devils Lake, ND 58301, email jcnquilter@gmail.com or text (701) 426-9798.

“not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man” (Ephesians 6:6-7 ESV).(220

December 2020



As of the fall of 2020, the North American Lutheran Church now has 10 Disaster Response warehouses across the USA. Several mission districts have accepted the challenge to either build a warehouse or find dedicated space within churches to store supplies and have them ready for rapid distribution when disaster strikes.

Please consider how your church or mission district might respond to the need for additional warehouses. Do you have space that could be used to help?  Please contact Mary Bates (740-509-1132) or visit Disaster Response online to find information on how your group may be able to help with establishing a warehouse.

Feel free to contact the coordinator of the warehouse to which your church or women’s group would like to deliver items or have orders shipped directly.

The list of requested items has been updated recently. Items can be collected year-round in order to be prepared in advance. As always, our deepest thanks to all of you who support Disaster Response throughout the year. 

“Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:15-16 ESV).https://www.wnalc.org/annualgathering/

Ready to go!

PO Box
NALC Disaster Response
P.O. Box 166
Caldwell, Ohio 43724

NALC Disaster Response Warehouse
16500 Noble Avenue
Caldwell, Ohio 43724

American Lutheran Church
500 Church Drive
Rantoul, Illinois 61866
Contact: Terry Doyle

St. Matthew Lutheran Church
3620 Red Rose Farm Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21220
Contact: Gail & Lee Brandt

North Carolina
Advent Lutheran Church
230 Oak Grove Road
King’s Mountain, North Carolina 28086
Contact: Rod Paulson

North Carolina
St. John’s Lutheran Church
740 North Center
Statesville, North Carolina 28677
Contact: Pastor Ernie Sheldon

Peace Lutheran Church
1026 Radio Lane
Rosenberg, Texas 77471
Contact: Michael Dittrich

Warehouses in Progress

Redeemer Lutheran Church
2510 North M-52
Owosso, Michigan 48867
Contact: Pastor George Zornow

Peace Lutheran Church
2600 East Danforth
Edmond, Oklahoma 73034
Contact: Alan ‘Al’ Reml

Bethany Lutheran Church
34721 Church Road
Warren, Oregon 97053
Contact: Pastor Ingrid Aderhold

Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church
4900 Kinsey Drive
Tyler, Texas 75703
Contact: Bill Videtto

October 2020


We in the North American Lutheran Church can be very thankful for the fine work done by Disaster Response to provide help in times of natural disaster. The items they provide bring relief, hope and encouragement to people whose lives have been disrupted by floods, fires and hurricanes. Mary Bates and her team always seek to provide spiritual encouragement for victims through prayer and the distribution of Bibles. Again, this year, we encourage you to support them in their efforts, and to consider sending a gift of Bibles to Disaster Response, either personally or through your church or women’s group. Giving Bibles in honor of someone “who has everything” would be a lovely Christmas gift, or consider giving Bibles in memory of a loved one. A couple of places you can order bibles and have them drop shipped to one of the NALC Disaster Response warehouses are Bibles.com and ChristianBook.com (formerly known as Christian Book Distributors). Paperback, large print, teen and children’s Bibles (in any language!) are all needed. See what you can do, send one, ten or 100 copies!

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11 ESV).

August 2020

Jill Nesheim here! On June 22, my husband, Ed & I drove to First Lutheran Church in Washburn, North Dakota, to load their quilts & school kits. That afternoon, we were at Peace Lutheran Church, Devils Lake, North Dakota, (our home church) to help pack & load quilts, school kits & baby care kits.

Wednesday, June 24, we headed east & made stops to pick up more boxes from Grace Lutheran Church, Erskine, Minnesota, along with quilts from Riverside Lutheran Church & Pine Grove Lutheran Church in Wannaska, Minnesota. We went on to St. Cloud, Minnesota, where we picked up more boxes & items at Abounding Joy Lutheran Church, where they had gathered quilts & prayer shawls, along with more boxes from Holy Trinity Lutheran in Kettle River, Minnesota.

To top off the load, our last stop was in at Calvary Lutheran Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin. The trailer was stuffed, the pick-up box was full & even our backseat had boxes. Thank you to Jason Hanson of Devils Lake for the use of his trailer, & to Marcella & Ken Nelson & our son Matt for places to stay!

In Caldwell, Ohio, Mary Bates provided us with a hotel room for the night. She & her husband helped sort the boxes onto pallets & shrink wrap everything so it was ready for shipping. The total count: 500 quilts, 94 baby care kits, 171 school kits, 21 Bibles, 6 towels, 16 health kits, 3 prayer shawls, 30 fleece throws & 1 Home Depot gift card.

We had a nice trip home &, of course, stopped at a cheese factory & store to get some good Wisconsin cheese to enjoy! We hope others will consider making their own trip. With nine warehouses across the USA, you can pick the one closest to you. Ed & I plan to go again next year but will probably deliver to the warehouse in Illinois!

June 2020

NALC Disaster Response Completes New Warehouse: Address Update!

Thanks to the support of our congregations & prayer partners, NALC Disaster Response has completed the construction of a new national warehouse in Caldwell, Ohio. Now we need to fill it!

Mother Nature does not stop & wait during a pandemic; as states allow us to get back to work, natural disasters continue to take place. Hurricane season is projected to be severe while tornadoes & storms continue to strike the South each week. I am scheduling volunteers & trucks to pick up donations of Bibles, quilts, health kits, school kits, layettes & flood buckets. Will your congregation develop a plan to collect these items? If each family puts together their own & drops them off at their church, everything can be done with no contact! Or, if your congregation has opened its doors again, consider taking your items to church with you & dropping them at a designated spot. I am also tracking whether states will allow volunteers into their state (again, specifically Tennessee).

Contact me for more information any time!
Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Response

*New PO Box Address* 
NALC Disaster Response
P.O. Box 166
Caldwell, Ohio 43724

*New Warehouse Address*
NALC Disaster Response Warehouse
16500 Noble Avenue
Caldwell, Ohio 43724

April 2020

As spring & summer approach many women’s quilting groups are finishing the last of their quilts & kits for the winter workdays. It is also a time when disaster strikes close to home with the increase of floods, tornados, hurricanes & fires. The two massive tornados in Tennessee are our most recent state-contained disaster. NALC Disaster Response sent a truckload of needed items to Reformation Lutheran Church in Hendersonville, TN. The warehouse had much of the needed items but found they were short on school kits.

New & used Bibles are also needed; consider having a Bible drive at your church or ordering a case (or more) online to be delivered right to the warehouse!

Concerned about shipping? You can write a Thrivent grant! Just remember, if you ship via UPS or FedEx, let Mary know so she can be there when they are delivered. We don’t want the items stolen!

The NALC Disaster Response effort sends all your donated to domestic disasters only. Baby care kits can contain disposable diapers instead of cloth. Kits prepared for Lutheran World Relief (LWR) are accepted even if they are different than the NALC recommendations. The following is a list of all the items they collect:

  • Baby care kits
  • Flood Buckets
  • Health kits
  • School kits
  • Blankets
  • Bibles
  • Quilts of all sizes including any type of fabric, religious symbols, patriotic, etc.
  • Gift cards (Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, any national chain
  • And last, but not least, monetary donations are ALWAYS appreciated

How to pack your disaster kits:

Pack completed kits (like items together) in boxes.

Label contents in LARGE, BLOCK LETTERS on the outside of the boxes.

Include the name & address of your church/group on each box with a label that says:

“A PROJECT OF [church/group name & address]”

Please send kits & materials to:

NALC Disaster Response Warehouse
16500 Noble Avenue
Caldwell, Ohio 43724

Please send envelopes to:

NALC Disaster Response
PO Box 166
Caldwell, Ohio 43724

For more information go to: thenalc.org/nalc-disaster-response or contact Mary Bates at 740.509.1132 or disasterresponse@thenalc.org

September 2019

You Stuffed the Tonka:


You did that!

Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Response coordinator, addressed the Women of the NALC at our 2019 Annual Gathering. She spoke to the group about what was accomplished over the last year in regards to outreach for the natural disasters that have afflicted countless people across the United States. Flood, tornadoes, wildfires & hurricanes are just a short list of the catastrophes NALC Disaster Response faced head-on. At year-end 2018, the WNALC pushed for a Bible drive & our women delivered!

June 2019

Tornadoes & floods are still wreaking havoc across the Midwest.

From Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Response coordinator: Our thoughts & prayers are with thousands of families impacted by this severe weather: over 500 reported tornadoes for 12 straight days, spread from Colorado to New Jersey, 8 fatalities; flooding from South Dakota to Louisiana, setting historic records & severe thunderstorms later this week as the jetstream causes conflicting storm systems across the US. Your help is needed: prayer, monetary donations, volunteers, your material goods!

Please find it in your heart to send resources to the affected areas via NALC Disaster Response.

Tornados in Oklahoma, May 20th

Storms in Illinois, May 27th

Flooding in Oklahoma, May 22nd

Tornado in Ohio, May 28th

April 2019

A series of massive, chaotic storm systems swept through the middle of the United States in early March. Alabama & Georgia are still reeling from tornadoes that tore through both states; 23 reported deaths & 97 severe injuries. Colorado is staggering from a severe blizzard. A majority of the state of Nebraska is currently under water; entire towns have been engulfed, bridges & roads are damaged for 75+ mile stretches, people are isolated without drinking water. Our NALC congregation in Dannebrog, Faith Lutheran Church, was flooded out. Over a million livestock are dead (including the start of this years’ crop of newborn calves), millions of acres of farmland are under water & grain storage facilities have failed. All of this will severely impact the agricultural industry &, consequently, our food supply & markets will suffer as the numbers roll in. This has now been identified as the largest agricultural disaster in the history of the State of Nebraska, if not in the entire United States, & damages are still being calculated.

Our brothers & sisters in Christ are suffering! Please find it in your heart to send resources to the affected areas via the NALC Disaster Response.

Aerials: Alabama/Georgia Tornadoes

Aerials: Nebraska Floods

February 2019

As anyone who listens to the weather reports knows it has been a hard year with disasters affecting many areas across North America. The south is still in recovery after Hurricanes Florence & Michael left destruction in their wake & the wildfires cut a wide path through California.

Do you have a closet, a room or even a corner to spare to store disaster response items? It is important to have items on hand because you never know when or where the next disaster will strike!

A true story: St. John Lutheran Church in Statesville, NC had a spare room in a building on the church property where they were storing flood buckets & other supplies. Hurricane Florence came & hit the East Coast. After the brunt of the storm had passed, arrangements were made to truck the items to the hard-hit areas. Since St. John’s already had items on hand, & they were only a few hours away, it was a fast delivery! In fact, after the trucks got to the coast, they were detained a while because the rivers came up & flooded the roads making the coast inaccessible. You may wonder how much of an impact a couple of trucks could make; I guarantee that every item on those trucks were a welcome site to our brothers & sisters in Christ as they started the massive task of the cleanup! Just knowing that someone cared & was willing to extend a helping hand was a big comfort!

So look around your church grounds & identify a spot to store some disaster response items in order to help your neighbor or even someone from your own congregation. It doesn’t need to be a separate building. A closet or corner of a room will do! You never know when or where the next disaster will strike!

Hurricane Florence made landfall on September 16, devastating thousands in North Carolina.

Mary Bates, NALC Disaster Response coordinator, assessed the need for donation centers & volunteer team housing to support local congregations in the impacted area in order to serve the larger community.

Truckloads of water, flood buckets with cleaning supplies, rakes, shovels, garden hoses, more than 1,000 hygiene kits, 500 layettes/baby items, 2,000 quilts & Bibles, school supplies, & pet food have been delivered to families in need from New Bern, NC to Wilmington, NC & sites in between by NALC Disaster Response.

NALC congregations are being asked to respond to the following needs:

Volunteer teams for rebuilding homes are needed in New Bern, NC, Wilmington, NC & Rosenberg, TX (Hurricane Harvey long term recovery), where on-going recovery is in process. spiritual Christian care teams are needed with each team completing rebuilds, including clergy & laity, to minister to families as they return to their damaged homes; to pray with them & remind them that the Body of Christ is there for & with them in this difficult time.

Volunteer teams will be needed throughout the next year & devastated families will need help for a number of years. Mary Bates is addressing the needs for the California wildfires & will post volunteer team needs on the NALC website as it develops.

  • Donations of building supplies for gift cards for the volunteer teams to utilize on-site. Flooring is a significant need. Monetary donations may be sent to NALC Disaster Response.
  • Flood Bucket & Kit Challenge:    Thank you to each mission district now hosting a disaster warehouse. The warehouses Caldwell, OH, Statesville, NC, Kings Mountain ,NC & Rosenberg, TX need filled – they are empty going into 2019. Will your youth or women’s groups host a collection of flood buckets, or health kits or school kits or quilts or layettes? Most importantly — Bibles?
  • Items needed in each kit are posted on the NALC website/Disaster Response.

To assist with long term recovery efforts:

Monetary donations may be given online at thenalc.org or sent to NALC Disaster Response; 2299 Palmer Drive, Suite 220; New Brighton, MN 55112-2202.

Donate material goods to the NALC Disaster Warehouse, 810 Main St., Caldwell, Ohio 43724 or call Mary at 740-509-1132; gift cards from building supply stores are welcomed!

Schedule your mission trip to a disaster impacted area in 2019 – contact Mary by email at disasterresponse@thenalc.org or 740-509-1132.

Continue your prayers for those struggling to recover – God is with us always!

A Prayer: “So that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1: