Top Christian Disaster Relief Organizations

Samaritan's Purse Emergency Field Hospital
A patient is treated by a doctor at a Samaritan's Purse Emergency Field Hospital on March 20, 2020 in Cremona, near Milan, Italy. Samaritan’s Purse is an evangelical Christian organization working in crisis areas of the world; thanks to a 68-bed respiratory unit, 32 members of Samaritan's Purse disaster response team will provide medical care during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Emanuele Cremaschi / Stringer / Getty Images

Christian disaster relief organizations are a dime a dozen. When contributing to relief efforts with hard-earned financial gifts or donating valuable relief supplies, it's important to give to reputable, well-established relief organizations. Careful research is critical to ensuring your gift makes the strongest possible impact for good. Here are several trustworthy organizations to consider.

8 Christian Disaster Relief Organizations You Can Trust

Samaritan's Purse

Disaster Relief Organizations
Image Courtesy of Samaritan's Purse

Samaritan's Purse is a worldwide, nondenominational Christian organization providing both physical and spiritual assistance to victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and hunger. The organization was established in 1970 by Bob Pierce and then passed on to Franklin Graham, the eldest son of Billy Graham, in 1978.

Operation Christmas Child delivers millions of shoebox gifts to poor children in over 100 countries every year. World Medical Mission sends doctors, equipment, and supplies to underprivileged countries. Community development and vocational programs in impoverished villages and neighborhoods help people break the cycle of poverty and give them hope for a better tomorrow. 

Samaritan's Purse is rated four stars by Charity Navigator, with an overall score and rating of 98.23.

Catholic Charities

Central American Refugees
McAllen, TX, USA - July 8, 2014: Two volunteers with a Catholic Charities Disaster Relief Team give a Central American refugee baby a bottle containing pedialyte, while a mother offers her young son a cup of water at the reception hall of Sacred Heart Catholic Church where they will receive counselling, food, clothes and a shower before boarding a bus for the homes of relatives in the U.S. Virtually all of the refugees arrived de-hydrated.

vichinterlang / Getty Images

Catholic Charities USA is one of the largest social service networks in the nation, providing aid and financial support to people in need, regardless of their religious, social, or economic backgrounds. Catholic Charities was founded in 1910 as the National Conference of Catholic Charities.

Several Catholic Charities are rated three and four stars by Charity Navigator.

Operation Blessing

Taal Volcano Response
In the Philippines, Operation Blessing was one of the first humanitarian organizations on the ground to provide disaster relief following the Taal Volcano eruption.

 Image Courtesy Operation Blessing

Operation Blessing is an international relief and humanitarian organization providing food, clothing, shelter, medical care and other basic necessities of life. Operation Blessing was established in 1978 and is governed by a national board of directors that includes founder M. G. Robertson.

Salvation Army

Salvation Army Disaster Relief
A young boy eats a bowl of hot soup October 5, 2000 at a mobile Salvation Army disaster relief kitchen in Miami. Heavy rains from a tropical depression swamped most of Miami with over a foot of water and left more than 40,000 residents without water or electricity.

 Robert King / Getty Images

The Salvation Army assists Americans in seeking the basic necessities of life–food, shelter, and warmth. They also have disaster response teams on-call to serve at all disasters and civil disorders that place a community or its populace at risk. William Booth originally established The Christian Mission, which became The Salvation Army in 1878.

United Methodist Committee on Relief

Helpful team of social workers

eclipse_images / Getty Images

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is a humanitarian agency providing relief in disaster areas, aid to refugees, food for the hungry, and assistance to the impoverished. UMCOR, established in 1940, maintains a corps of trained disaster specialists who can respond quickly to disasters and also keeps a supply of relief materials for emergency dispatch.

United Methodist Committee on Relief is rated three stars by Charity Navigator, with an overall score and rating of 89.86.

Episcopal Relief and Development

Generous people helping poor people

mixetto / Getty Images 

Episcopal Relief and Development provides ongoing emergency relief and assistance after disasters, assists in rebuilding communities, and helps children and families overcome poverty. The organization was established in 1940 by the Episcopal Church in the United States.

Episcopal Relief and Development is rated three stars by Charity Navigator, with an overall score and rating of 89.54.

American Red Cross

Red Cross Distributes Second Shipment of Aid in Venezuela
CARACAS, VENEZUELA - JUNE 19: Volunteer repack medicines in a warehouse of International Committee of the Red Cross on June 19, 2019 in Caracas, Venezuela.

Getty Images / Stringer

The American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization led by volunteers, providing relief to victims of disasters. The American Red Cross also helps to prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. Clara Barton founded the Red Cross in 1881.

American Red Cross is rated three stars by Charity Navigator, with an overall score and rating of 88.71.

World Vision

World Vision Collects Supplies For Katrina Relief
CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 13: World Vision worker, Jason Humbles, operates his forklift past a box of items such as kitchen bags, trash bags, a child's doll and Tampax, in a World Vision warehouse, which are all destined for Hurricane Katrina victims September 13, 2005 in Chicago, Illinois.

Tim Boyle / Getty Images

World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. World Vision was founded by Bob Pierce in 1950 to provide long-term care for children in crisis and developed its first child sponsorship program in Korea in 1953.

World Vision is rated three stars by Charity Navigator, with an overall score and rating of 88.42.

More Ways to Help With Disaster Relief

Beyond financial giving, here are a few practical ways to put compassion into action and help the survivors of disaster.

Pray: This is a no-brainer. One of the easiest and most positive ways you can help rebuild hope is to pray for the families of victims and survivors of disaster.

Give Relief Supplies: You can contribute by donating relief supplies. Be sure to give to a reputable, well-established organization to ensure that your gift makes the best possible impact toward relief.

  • Visit the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance at Give.org for established charity standards and recommendations for responsible giving.
  • Visit the Charity Navigator for a list of three- and four-star rated charities.

Give Blood: You can literally save a life by giving blood. Even when disaster occurs far from your hometown, or in another country, donating to your local blood bank will help keep national and international blood supplies stocked and ready for transfer to wherever they are needed.

Go: You can help by going as a volunteer to assist with relief efforts. To ensure your skills will be best utilized, it is important to go with an organized agency. The Disaster News Network reports, "It may be compassionate, but it's not helpful to show up without being affiliated with an organization that's already officially approved."

If you simply show up to help, your efforts will have a diminished impact, you are likely to get in the way, or worse, put yourself or someone else in danger.

Prepare: If you decide to go, begin to make plans now. Here are some suggested agencies currently accepting volunteers:

Tips

  1. Invite people at work or school to pray with you for the relief efforts.
  2. Consider putting together a relief kit for one of the relief charities.
  3. Before you donate, investigate.
  4. Carefully research the best volunteer options before going.
  5. Ask your local church if any relief efforts are being organized.