ELCA NEWS SERVICE
June 13, 2006
ELCA Offers Davey and Goliath Disaster PSAs
CHICAGO (ELCA) -- At the start of the 2006 hurricane season, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is offering children a message about trusting God and helping others in the face of disasters. Broadcast public service announcements (PSA) for ELCA Domestic Disaster Response, called "Working Together," features the popular characters Davey and Goliath®. The PSAs were designed to educate and reassure children that have been affected by disaster.
"The main message we want children to know is that they're not alone," said Ava O. Martin, director for public media, ELCA Communication Services. "What we hope to achieve is for children to know that God loves them, and God is always there helping them."
Of the one million people displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, about 372,000 were school-aged children in kindergarten through the 12th grade, according to Susan Kim, news editor, Disaster News Network.
In the wake of disaster, children are often left feeling isolated and helpless, Martin said. According to Martin, the best time to prepare for a disaster is before it strikes.
"This is the time for people to gather the information. In the middle of a disaster, you're not likely to have power or access to a computer or television to get to these places that might be able to help you," she said.
In addition to encouraging children to talk with their parents, the PSAs direct viewers to the Lutheran Disaster Response Web site (www.ELCA.org/disaster) where they can find games, information about natural disasters and tips on how they can get involved.
"We're hoping that children will be able to find some resources that help them to know what they can do to help," Martin said. "There are a variety of different resources on the Web site that are specifically geared toward children."
Leaders of ELCA Communication Services and Lutheran Disaster Response developed the idea and determined that Davey and Goliath would be the most effective vehicle for the message.
"Davey and Goliath are characters that people already identify with," Martin said, "and not just children. Baby boomers, their children, their parents and young children today all relate to Davey and Goliath because they've been around so long."
TV Access of Chicago distributed the PSAs to approximately 400 broadcast television stations, 1,000 radio stations and 500 cable outlets. "We've been getting some great airplay already, and it's only been out two weeks," Martin said.
The PSAs are available in a 60-, 30- and 15-second formats to interested media outlets. To view and download the PSAs, visit http://daveyandgoliath.org on the Web.
*Katherine R. Hinck is a senior journalism and religion major at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D. This summer she is an intern with the ELCA News Service.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ELCA News Blog: http://www.elca.org/news/blog