SEPT. 18 Update by Milton Jones
My major professor in graduate school told me of his first trip to Calcutta to deliver a few thousand pounds of grain. He was overwhelmed with the poverty as he literally had to step over dead bodies on the street. He felt so small and his help so insignificant. In his discouragement, his mentor told him— “People are born one at a time, people live one at a time, and people die one at a time. You have to start somewhere with someone.”
When I think of the overwhelming nature of Hurricane Harvey, I too feel small and our help insignificant. But you have to start somewhere with someone. All of us do. It will take a lot of help, money and time to bring relief to the victims of this tragedy.
You have to start somewhere. We started in Portland, Texas. When Bobby Moore, our Vice President, drove with his family into Portland—they were speechless. As they looked around the area, 85% of the houses had been destroyed. As a result, we partnered with Disaster Response Team and brought in five semi-trucks and trailers—one full of food and water, another with showers and bathrooms, the next one loaded with tools for rebuilding, next a kitchen that serves 4,000 hot meals a day, and lastly one that has mattresses and generators. It’s a start.
We have now made our way over to Rockport, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Wharton, Ingleside, and Beaumont. Indeed, we have started. Can you help us?
We need money more than anything else (except your prayers). If you want to volunteer and join us and give some physical labor, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We especially need some volunteers who can help longer than short term. If you have any heavy equipment that can help clear out the debris and even knock down extremely damaged houses, we need them too. You have to start somewhere with someone.
Here’s how you can keep helping those impacted by Harvey.
The best way that you can help today is to donate. Your gift will be used immediately to get our team in place and to provide immediate help with water, food, and other short-term needs. You can donate here. As relief for these basic needs become less dire, the team will transition to helping clean up and rebuild in the most affected areas. Please give today.
SEPT. 5, 2017 – UPDATE
Our disaster response crew is currently on the ground in Portland, Texas where 20,000 residents were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In our target area, at least 85% of the homes had major damage from the storm. Most structures had their roofs torn off by strong winds and many peoples’ homes were completely leveled.
But even in the midst of this disaster, we have seen incredible stories of hope.
We met an elderly family in Portland who decided to stick out the hurricane. Evacuating the area would have been too difficult and dangerous, because the husband was on hospice care. By the grace of God, they were safe through the storm, but their home was badly damaged and their property was filled with debris and fallen trees.
Their nephew had been working on clearing the property for days, but had made very little progress. He said, “I was about to give up.” The mess was too big and he was only one person. He felt hopeless.
But then a crew of 20 of our volunteers showed up to help. They got to work and had the whole area cleared in just a few hours!
The family was incredibly grateful. They thanked us and cried tears of joy as our team drove on to the next location.
This story was only possible because of your prayers, financial support, and willingness to volunteer! And it’s just one of hundreds of stories that have come from our disaster relief work along the Texas coast.
Along with cleaning debris, our team has already provided thousands of hot meals, hundreds of showers and clean places for displaced families to sleep, and many, many prayers, hugs and shoulders to lean on.
In addition to our work on the coast, we are partnering with churches in Houston and Beaumont to bring in relief supplies and begin our outreach work in those areas.
We are committed to supporting Harvey victims for the long haul as they rebuild what this storm has blown away.
AUG. 31, 2017 – UPDATE
Our disaster response crew is currently on the ground in Portland, Texas where 20,000 residents were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The whole city is without power and buildings across town were torn apart by high winds as the eye passed just a few miles from Portland.
Our volunteers are on the ground providing much-needed clean water, serving hot meals (up to 4,000 per day!), providing beds and supplies for local shelters, and offering free shower facilities. As the situation in Portland begins to shift toward rebuilding, we will be providing tools and volunteer support to local residents looking to repair their homes and rebuild their lives.
Of course, you have also seen the devastating flooding in Houston. Active search and rescue operations are still underway in parts of the city, and it is not yet safe for our team to move into place. But, as soon as possible, we will have a team in place providing relief and support to Harvey victims in Houston.
AUG. 28, 2017 – ORIGINAL MESSAGE
Hurricane Harvey tore into Texas this weekend with 110+ mph winds and a storm surge that devastated the Texas coast near Corpus Christi. The damage is catastrophic and the human impact is shocking.
The Houston area is now suffering from life-threatening flooding caused by heavy rainfall that may reach 50 inches in some areas.
More than 40,000 people are currently in shelters throughout the region and that number is expected to rise as the rain continues and many local rivers are likely to crest later this week.
CRF is immediately responding to this disaster with our partner the Disaster Response Team (DRT).
Five large response trailers are currently staged to enter the affected areas as soon as emergency officials allow us to enter. We will begin distributing relief and support as soon as it is safe for us to do so today.
In the early stages of our response, we will be providing clean water, food, showers and housing to hurricane victims around some of the hardest hit areas near Corpus Christi, Texas.
As the catastrophic flooding in Houston subsides and it becomes possible for our team to enter, we will assess the situation and decide where we can make the biggest impact.