Ten years of unconditional help by Scientology Volunteer Ministers around the world.
The work of the Scientology Volunteer Ministers who served at Ground
Zero in the months following 9/11 served as a model and inspiration for a movement that now spans the globe.
Although the Volunteer Ministers program was first established in 1976, when the twin towers collapsed 10 years ago it marked a turning point for the movement, signaling to Scientologists around the world a greatly heightened necessity to make a positive difference in society. There were 6,000 Volunteer Ministers in September 2001—today more than 200,000 wear the signature yellow T-shirt, reaching out in their communities and wherever disaster strikes—no matter how small—to help others improve their lives and those of their friends and family.
Over the past decade, time and again, Volunteer Ministers have acted with selfless courage in the manner described by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard:
“A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.” —L. Ron Hubbard
Following is a list of some of the disasters in which Volunteer Ministers have served over the past 10 years.
- Eight hundred Scientology Volunteer Ministers from the U.S. and abroad worked tirelessly for months in the toxic ruins of Ground Zero, New York, to support the massive rescue and cleanup effort. Along with international relief organizations such as the Red Cross and VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster), they organized the donation and distribution of food and other needed supplies to first responders and rescue workers. In addition to caring for their physical needs, they provided Scientology assists to relieve spiritual and emotional trauma.
- Volunteer Ministers helped in the cleanup after a volcanic eruption in January in the Congo left 120,000 homeless.
- In August, when the Danube overflowed its banks in the worst flooding in 200 years, Volunteer Ministers helped man sandbag lines to protect cities in Hungary and Czech Republic.
- On October 23, Chechen terrorists held 850 hostage at the Dubrovka Theater in Moscow. Volunteer Ministers assisted police and rescue workers to care for the survivors, and provided succor to the families of the victims.
- When the "2003 Firestorm" burned over 280,000 acres of residential and wild lands in Southern California in October, Volunteer Ministers supported firefighters with water, food and Scientology assists.
- When terrorists struck Madrid on March 11, Volunteer Ministers provided relief to victims and their families.
- Volunteer Ministers provided aid the victims of Hurricanes Charlie, Frances and Jeanne in Florida.