ABHMS Staff Member Honored By New Orleans Mayor

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ABHMS Staff Member Honored By New Orleans Mayor

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/14/12)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) is proud to announce that Victoria Goff, ABHMS national coordinator of Volunteer and Disaster Response Ministries, has received a proclamation from the mayor of New Orleans for her years of service in coordinating volunteer clean-up and rebuilding efforts in the hurricane-ravaged city.

Signed by Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu and dated Aug. 10, 2012, the framed certificate indicates that it is bestowed “in appreciation of bringing volunteers to help rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward Community.”

Since 2005, Goff has coordinated more than 2,871 volunteers who responded to hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike and Gustav in New Orleans and surrounding areas via a variety of efforts, including the Baton Rouge Baptist Blitz Build in 2007 and 2008, Church World Service Ecumenical Build in 2009, the Mission Encounter with American Baptist Churches of the South in 2010 and the present-day Ecumenical Work Week.

“ABHMS is extremely proud of the leadership that Victoria Goff has provided for our ministering to and with the residents of New Orleans. With consistency and compassion, Vickie has been a caring presence there for seven years. She has coordinated American Baptist rebuilding efforts on the Gulf Coast, enlisting over 2,000 volunteers,” says ABHMS Executive Director Dr. Aidsand F. Wright-Riggins III. “When many have packed their bags, moving on to new concerns, ABHMS has not forgotten the people there or the work that still needs to be done. We are humbled to have the opportunity to serve as the heart, hands and feet of Jesus Christ in that setting.”

More than 100 homes in the area have been built or rehabilitated by volunteers since 2005. In addition, volunteers have rebuilt churches and encouraged residents in need. Jobs have included painting, laying sheet rock, cutting grass, removing debris, gardening, maintaining gravesites and running errands. 

“I’m honored to have Vickie as a friend, and I’m honored that she, ABHMS and its volunteers have continued to come to New Orleans and be with us seven years after Hurricane Katrina,” says Warrenetta Banks, volunteer coordinator of the Lower Ninth Ward Center for Sustainable Engagement & Development. “We’re grateful. We want to let the volunteers know how much we love them and how much hope they bring to us. One of my favorite quotations is: ‘You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.’”

American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with 5,500 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.