A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference
How North Texas Methodists Can Help After Harvey
Here is what you can do now for Texas Gulf Coast hurricane victims.
By ANDY LEWIS
Director, Center for Missional Outreach
It pains us all to see the impact that Hurricane Harvey has brought to the Texas Gulf Coast. The stories and images of what has transpired these last few days are, at the same time, both horrific and inspiring.
Watching these catastrophic and unprecedented events unfold since Aug. 25, 2017, makes many of us in North Texas want to pack our bags right away and be the hands and feet of Christ along the coast.
For now, there are three specific areas that need our direct attention and support: how we can address the needs for immediate support, evacuees who have traveled to the North Texas Conference seeking shelter, and long-term relief and recovery efforts.
I am asking us all to prayerfully consider making a financial contribution to provide immediate support. We have set up an online donation form – www.northtexasumc.org/donate – where your contributions and generosity certainly will bring aid and hope to those affected by the storm.
If you are not able to take items to this site, you may bring them to the North Texas Conference Ministry Center, where the Rev. Dr. Janet Bell Odom, the conference’s Disaster Response Coordinator, will receive them. That address is 500 Maplelawn Dr., Plano, TX 75075.
The items that would greatly assist shelter residents with their immediate needs include:
- Portable cribs (“pack-and-plays”)
Also, please contact the Rev. Dr. Odom (email@example.com or 972-526-5000, Ext. 226) if you know of churches that could provide any of the following:
- Rooms/places to sort clothing for shelter residents.
- Volunteers to sort donated clothing.
- Volunteers with automotive mechanical skills to assist shelter residents.
The disaster and relief crews that will provide an immediate physical presence in the impacted areas have been trained and credentialed to do just that. There will be opportunities soon for others who want to do the same, and the Rev. Dr. Odom, the Disaster Response Coordinator for the North Texas Conference, will make everyone aware of those when the needs have been assessed and groups organized.
We know, too, of needs for the donation of flood buckets to aid in long-term relief and recovery efforts. Please visit the North Texas Conference website, www.northtexasumc.org, for regular updates on the drop-off logistics of these items as well as additional information on ways to volunteer.
Please join me in continued prayer not only for the storm’s victims, but also for the caregivers and volunteers who are bringing relief to the situation. May our eyes and minds remain open for discernment in the ways God needs us to act.