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Faith-based organizations (FBOs) have an outsized role in philanthropy, attracting the largest share of donation dollars annually in America. They are especially active in disaster relief and recovery. When you see media coverage of aid groups responding to a major disaster, domestically or abroad, more often than not they are affiliated...

  In 2017, fast-moving wildfires ripped through Sonoma and Napa Counties in Northern California, claiming at least 10,000 homes and 40 lives. The devastation prompted one local resident, a seasoned disaster relief volunteer and Spanish interpreter, to sign up to work at an evacuation shelter in Petaluma. Karen Merzenich recalled how the shelter...