Louisville organization focuses on long-term help for Okla. - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville organization focuses on long-term help for Okla.

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Following natural disasters like the Oklahoma tornado, immediate response is important but as the weeks and months go by, organizations want to remind us that help is still needed.

WDRB found a local organization that focuses on long term assistance.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is based in Louisville.

They have volunteers in Oklahoma now and others that will deploy later.

They say it's a marathon, not a sprint.

Their motto reads: "Out of chaos, hope."

"There is a great closeness and a great commitment to one another to get through this and rebuild," said John Cheek, a member of National Response Team for PDA, in a phone interview with WDRB.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, or PDA, works with partners around the world to support those impacted by disasters.

Their mission is to help those communities achieve long-term physical, psychological and spiritual recovery.

"The Moore disaster is so large, it is so massive that we have only worked around the edges of it," said Cheek.

It's been more than a week since the deadly tornado hit Moore, Okla.

PDA deployed National Response Team members immediately.

"People have been very grateful and very gracious to us," Cheek told WDRB.

"What's rewarding for me was the privilege to be able to walk alongside someone who had lived through a disaster, a traumatic event and is now trying to knit back the thousands of threads," said John Robinson, associate for disaster response for PDA.

PDA is strategic when placing their volunteers.

They send some members right away and will send other groups over the next year or even longer.

"The recovery in these disasters doesn't happen in a matter of days or weeks or months and sometimes even years," said Linda Valentine, executive director of Presbyterian Mission Agency.

"Each disaster is very different and each disaster requires flexibility and awareness that each disaster is different and each disaster is local," said Robinson.

"It's estimated there are some 4,000 houses that will need to be rebuilt," Valentine told WDRB.

PDA says they're in it for the long haul, when their help is most needed.

"Unfortunately I think we're heading into tornado season so we probably haven't seen the last of this," said Valentine.

If you want to get involved with PDA, you should call the National Call Center at (866) 732-6121 or click here.

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