Harvey Update for September 2&3, 2017: Blanketing the city with pillows of hope!
|“Today I drove well over 200 miles to get to various locations to serve our city,” wrote Lisa Stringer on Saturday, September 2. “It is now past 7:30 PM and Doug is still out serving and has accumulated his own share of miles.”
The Stringers started the day at Houston’s New Life Church, where they met an 18-wheeler filled with 10,000 My Pillows donated by the Lindell Foundation. Officers from the Houston Police Department picked up 1,000 pillows to give to the 200 HPD families who lost their homes or suffered severe damage in the storm. “They were SO grateful!” Lisa observed. “It is such a privilege to serve them as they serve us daily.”
“The Lindell Foundation is honored to partner with the Houston Police Department to take care of those that put their lives on the line every single day to protect us all!” said Sam Smith, CEO.
Other shipments of 10,000 pillows each were delivered to Rockport, Hitchcock, and Beaumont, with 10,000 more scheduled for delivery on Friday to Dickinson. In Hitchcock, the Gulf Coast Four Square Church congregation unloaded the 18-wheeler on Sunday after church. There was no air conditioning, but not one complaint came from this great crew of volunteers as they worked ever so hard to unload and distribute these pillows to those in need.
At all locations, friends and ministry partners picked up boxes of pillows to give away to people in need. Some walked door to door in their neighborhoods, sending photos of grateful neighbors. One friend of the ministry—a former Marine whose own home was flooded in the storm—had spent four days in a boat rescuing families trapped in their homes. But on Sunday, he and his two young daughters loaded up their truck with 80 pillows and walked those same once-flooded streets to give them away. “It was amazing to hear the relief in someone’s voice with something as simple as a pillow,” he said.
Another friend and her family walked the streets of a community where every home was flooded and most of their treasures were destroyed. They gave out pillows, prayed with people, let people share their hearts with them, smiled, laughed, cried, and loved on each other. “The devastation is real, and the families were so grateful!” they said.
“This is the blessing we were given by the Lindell Foundation,” Lisa said. “It is something practical, of good quality, and it is free to those who have great needs at this time. It is a tool God is using in the hands of His people to open doors for conversations and prayer, and it is a simple sign of hope. It’s people loving people—It’s that simple.”
Lisa made her way up to Grace Church in the Woodlands on the north side of town, while Doug checked on churches serving as Points of Distribution, or PODs. “Being at Grace was like going to a grocery store or super center,” she said. “The kids played in the playscape while parents loaded their bags withfood, clothes, shoes, pillows, water, and more.”
After Doug visited another local church, the pastor posted this on social media: “Just got a visit from Pastor Doug Stringer from Somebody Cares. He gave me a check for gift cards! Almost made a grown man cry!”
Meanwhile, over in Rockport, we were able to bless a couple who have been volunteering with our team there, helping with thousands of meals being prepared and served daily by Mercy Chefs in partnership with Somebody Cares and the Holy Smoke team from BloodNFire San Antonio. This couple lost their home and art studio in the storm and didn’t even know where to begin the process of gutting it out.
To their surprise, they got a call from SCA field rep Mark Roye on Sunday morning while they were out trying to get supplies: “We’re here at your house to help,” he said. They promptly returned, expecting to find two or three volunteers. “It was an army of 40!” they exclaimed. “We didn’t know what we were going to do, and we would never have been able to do it ourselves. You guys are a godsend!”
All day long until late into the night, teams like these all across the impacted areas work on getting resources where they need to go. Volunteers are working in warehouses, sorting through donations and getting them in the hands of those in need. Doug Stringer and his staff are working through hundreds of emails, texts, and calls, and doing more than could ever be shared or explain.
Somebody Cares is area churches, ministries, and organizations working together to let people know that Jesus cares—and it’s only possible with your prayers and support. Please give generously to help us continue meeting the needs.
Thank you for caring!