Marking National Volunteer Week, Scientology Church praises 1,000 volunteers for more than 150,000 hours in Haiti relief effort
The Church of Scientology International, mother church of the Scientology religion, today acknowledged 1,000 volunteers who have served in Haiti since the January 12, 2010, earthquake.
The Rev. Robert Adams of the Los Angeles-based Church of Scientology International presented a special Letter of Commendation to Scientology Volunteer Ministers International director Maria Reyher, citing the life-saving actions of all the volunteers who were sponsored by the Church to travel to Haiti.
“Through the dedicated work of these volunteers, thousands of Haitian lives were saved,” said Rev. Adams in the ceremony at the Church’s international headquarters. These volunteers have logged more than 150,000 volunteer hours giving aid to more than 200,000 individuals in hospitals and clinics, IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps, schools and orphanages.
“It is only fitting that in this National Volunteer Week, we say thank you to these volunteers, Scientologists and non-Scientologists alike, who served with dedication and effectiveness in this time of extreme need in Haiti. Others are alive because they served,” Rev. Adams said.
Volunteer Ministers International director Maria Reyher accepted the Letter of Commendation from the Church on behalf of all 1,000 volunteers, those who went to Haiti and the hundreds who worked behind the scenes making it possible for the Church to charter five flights and a supply ship to bring volunteers and 131 tons of humanitarian supplies to Haiti.
“Volunteers are the backbone in any relief effort, but all the more so in Haiti where help was and still is so desperately needed,” said Reyher. “Every volunteer who served there knows that human beings are alive today because someone was willing to help, despite sometimes extreme personal hardship and discomfort.”
“This award is their award,” Reyher said, announcing that her office is presenting all 1,000 volunteers with copies of the Letter of Commendation—Scientology Volunteer Ministers and those who traveled with the Scientology team to Haiti, including volunteers from AMHE (Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad), BSVAC (Bedford-Stuyvesant Volunteer Ambulance Corps), Amerihelp (AHAMES), Hands for the Needy Foundation, A.I.M.E.R. Haiti and the 911 Foundation.
In establishing the Volunteer Ministers program in the 1970s, Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote: “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.” “There has never been a time when this mandate has been more important,” said Rev. Adams.
Reyher confirmed that the Scientology Haiti Disaster Response Team is in Haiti “for the long haul, committed to helping the people of this country rebuild their nation and their lives.”