A Volunteer Minister in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after the December 2004 tsunami.

A Volunteer Minister in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after the December 2004 tsunami.

Since the program was created in 1976 by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard, Volunteer Ministers from 120 nations have responded to more than 200 disasters, helping people rebuild their lives.

When Hurricane Matthew ripped into Haiti in October leaving hundreds of thousands homeless only six short years after the 2016 earthquake, the yellow-shirted Volunteer Ministers once again brought hope and help. And when Cyclone Winston roared through Fiji earlier this year, Volunteer Ministers were there to help rebuild the villages destroyed by the storm.

Teams of Volunteer Ministers are still at work in Nepal, helping in outlying villages still recovering from the earthquake of 2015.

Volunteer Minister-trained medical doctors and nurses provided care after the Nepal earthquake of 2015.

Volunteer Minister-trained medical doctors and nurses provided care after the Nepal earthquake of 2015.

Who are these Volunteer Ministers? And what is their role?

L. Ron Hubbard created the Volunteer Ministers program in 1976 on observing the deterioration of values and resultant spike in crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of the society. If one does not like these things, “he can do something about it,” he wrote. “He can become a Volunteer Minister and help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.”

Responding to disasters in Pakistan.

Responding to disasters in Pakistan.

Mr. Hubbard further defined a Volunteer Minister as “a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others. 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. How does a Volunteer Minister accomplish these miracles? Basically, he uses the technology of Scientology to change conditions for the better—for himself, his family, his groups, friends, associates and for Mankind.”

Volunteer Ministers provided urgently needed support to the medical teams after the Haiti earthquake of 2010.

Volunteer Ministers provided urgently needed support to the medical teams after the Haiti earthquake of 2010.

What he set in motion 40 years ago has continued to expand and today reaches into towns and villages on every continent with Volunteer Ministers bringing help to their communities and neighborhoods, and teams responding to man-made and natural disasters—some 200 since 2001—providing indiscriminate help to 30 million people in 126 nations.

In the words of the Deputy Chief of Field Operations in Louisiana, after 1,000 VMs from across the globe answered the call following Hurricane Katrina, “You all were the cavalry. It was like wagon trains being surrounded by the Indians with no hope. Then you hear that horn from the cavalry and you guys came in. Then all of our despair disappeared because of your presence, your actions, your smiles.”

A Volunteer Minister helping an elderly woman in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan.

A Volunteer Minister helping an elderly woman in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan.

The bright yellow jackets of the Volunteer Ministers brought help after the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

The bright yellow jackets of the Volunteer Ministers brought help after the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

In New Zealand, after the 2010 earthquakes, a disaster response coordinator said: “These angels just appeared in the middle of chaos without any fanfare and just presented themselves to me and said: ‘We’re here to help.’”

Volunteer Ministers in a refugee camp in Burundi.

Volunteer Ministers in a refugee camp in Burundi.

Known by their bright yellow shirts and their willingness to take on any task, Volunteer Ministers not only care for the immediate needs of survivors, they also provide their unique “spiritual first aid,” relieving the emotional shock and trauma with simple Scientology procedures called “assists.”

Bringing help to remote villages in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake.

Bringing help to remote villages in Nepal after the 2015 earthquake.

The motto of the Scientology Volunteer Minister is “Something can be done about it,” which they have demonstrated to millions of people the world over for the past 40 years.

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