Just returned to Utah after five weeks in Alabama on the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response following the April tornados, Scientologist Joava Good is a 35-year veteran Scientology Volunteer Minister who has helped put the program on the disaster response map.
Pratt City, Alabama, was like a war zone.
“What a tragedy this tornado brought to the town,” says Scientologist Joava Good of Draper, Utah, on her recent return from five weeks in Alabama assisting victims in putting their lives back together.
Good helped lead a team of Scientology Volunteer Ministers who flew to Alabama from Scientology Churches around the country, primarily from Atlanta, Tampa, Nashville, and cities in California.
“So many residents lost everything they owned. It was heartbreaking,” says Good. “Most of the homes that were leveled were not insured. The money FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has available is simply not enough to repair or rebuild them.”
Good and her team decided to concentrate on Pratt City, a suburb of Birmingham, which was one of the areas most devastated when a tornado cut a swath nearly a mile wide through the neighborhood on April 27, 2011. Homes were reduced to rubble. Cars, trees, fences—everything was seized by the whirlwind.
“Very few volunteers were helping in Pratt City, so we decided to take it on,” says Good.
They cut down shattered tree trunks and branches, cleared tons of debris, helped families sort through rubble for personal belongings, and cleaned up homes left standing. The volunteers found many personal items such as passports, credit cards, jewelry—some they were able to restore to their owners; some had been torn from homes more than 60 miles away, a stunning reminder of the tornado’s terrifying force.
Good, a Scientologist since 1967, has volunteered many thousands of hours as a Scientology Volunteer Minister since she first trained in that capacity in 1976, the year the program was created by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.
Married for 38 years, she and her husband Bill have used what they learned in Scientology in raising their three successful children. They are now the proud grandparents of five.
“What I liked best about Scientology is using it to make things better,” she says.
Good is Deputy National Director of the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response, an organization she helped initiate. She is a trained FEMA, Red Cross and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) volunteer and has served as a CERT trainer. An active member of the State of Utah Volunteer and Donation Management Committee, she is also treasurer of Utah VOAD (Volunteers Active in Disaster) and is in charge of volunteer disaster response and preparedness for her hometown of Draper, Utah.
“There is so much I have learned from Scientology,” says Good. “Not only have I benefited personally in energy, outlook and happiness, I have also gained the ability to deal successfully with life’s surprises and challenges, which are considerable when you are a disaster response volunteer.”
To learn more about what Scientologists are doing to create a better world, watch "Meet a Scientologist" videos at www.Scientology.org. To learn more about the Scientology Volunteer Ministers, visit their website at www.VolunteerMinisters.org.