Harvey Update from September 1, 2017: Aid pours in as floodwaters recede
Relief and response efforts have kicked into high gear as waters begin to recede in more areas. Even still, there are regions where water is rising and people are still be rescued by first responders.
The situation for millions is dire. Store shelves in many areas are bare because trucks have not been able to get in to restock, or looting has prevented stores from reopening in the near future. It is already estimated that over ½ million cars were flooded beyond repair and the mass transit system is not fully operational – leaving many communities cut off from essential food and supplies.
But the Church united has risen as a bright light in these desperate times!
Somebody Cares has a network covering hundreds of churches and ministry partners throughout the affected area that are sacrificially serving their neighbors – many in the midst of their own need. People are being sheltered. Hot meals are being served. Essential resources are being distributed. Volunteers are helping families whose homes with gutting and clean-up. Churches are being resources so they can reach their community. Patients are being connected with dialysis facilities close to their evacuation site. Crisis counseling and prayer are being offered. Police and first responders are being supported. Gift cards will be given to families who have suffered loss so they can get urgently needed items not available at distribution sites. We are facilitating truckloads of supplies into the city for distribution in areas of great need. Essential supplies were even delivered by air with the help of ministry partners to a community cut off by flood water.
And while in the rush of trying to meet as many needs as quickly as possible most of the stories of those helped will go untold, a few examples are starting to trickle in:
- Yesterday we learned of a single mother undergoing chemo who has young children and whose home was flooded. With no other place to go, she needed help gutting and cleaning out her home. We were able to connect her with a team to help.
- One of our staff members had to be evacuated with her husband, five children, and their dog. They lost both vehicles to the flooding and cannot return to their home. They have been staying with friends in an area without cell service and had no way to get to work or begin to resettle. One of the ministries in our network received a donated vehicle and chose to give it to this family! They can now find a new place to live and our staff member can rejoin our relief efforts!
- A pastor of a small church has opened it up to house about 25 congregants who had to evacuate. We are providing a freezer for them to increase their food storage so they can feed their expanded family and the community!
- After learning that 200 Houston police officers either lost their homes or have serious damage, Doug Stringer arranged for the HPD to pick up 1,000 My Pillows from New Life Church, where 10,000 had been delivered for distribution to churches and ministries who are serving their communities.
Doug and other team members have been visiting relief sites throughout the city to assess needs, direct resources, and encourage the unsung heroes who have laid their lives down for the sake of others. The needs are overwhelming and too numerous to list, but here are some of the urgent requests we have received just in the past 24 hours:
List of supplies needed from several churches to help restore homes:
- small battery skill saws
- pry bars
- dust masks
- battery drills with drill bits
- carpet knifes with blades
- drywall knives with blades
- heavy duty trash bags
- tape measures
- shock lines with chock
- wheel barrows
- plastic heavy duty trash shovels
- push brooms
- regular brooms
- dust pans
From multiple churches and ministries distributing aid to families:
- gift cards in $25 and $50 value
- non-perishable food items (spaghetti, rice, canned meats, soup, canned vegetables, peanut butter, crackers, etc..)
- disposable diapers
- baby formula
- baby wipes
- other new baby supplies
- new stuffed animals to comfort children
- backpacks for personal items
- new blankets
- new socks and underwear
This weekend, teams will be spread throughout the region serving, ministering, distributing Somebody Cares bears to hurting children, counseling, and providing for as many as possible from Rockport, throughout Greater Houston, Beaumont, and into Orange, Newton, and Jasper counties where flooding is still widespread.
Please pray for our teams, for those impacted by the floods, and for emergency workers. All are at the point of physical and emotional fatigue. Please also consider a generous financial contribution at this time – so we can rush additional aid to those who need it so desperately!
Thank you for caring!