HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF
FROM FELLOWSHIP CHURCH
The pastors discussed how we should respond as a church to the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
We are suggesting both immediate help and then longer-term help.
· Open hearts to the gospel
· Strength for 1st responders
· Wisdom for local, state, and federal officials
· Burden upon the church to meet needs
· Families that are separated
· Churches in need of repair
· To designated Fellowship Church fund at Paypal (IMPORTANT: Enter “hurricane” fund in the fund memo box. These funds will be used for supplies when our teams go to help with Hurricane relief.
· Another option is to give to Samaritan’s Purse, a trusted Christian organization at bitly.com/givetohh.
Serving with Fellowship
Our homegroups and clusters provide a good manpower resource that can be easily mobilized. Also, we have a lot of young, strong backs! Here’s the general plan:
Start letting us know who needs hurricane relief work and what kind. We want to start with the families and friends of our members. Please ask your homegroup members if they have family or close friends that need help with flood clean-up.
It is important to understand that we will help if we are able.
· Once we have a list of candidates to help, we will start organizing teams through homegroups and clusters, and schedule work trips.
· As stated above, we do have a fund set up to receive money for these work trips (tools, some supplies, etc.).
· Please visit the CDC guidelines for volunteering in safe ways that protect you and those you are serving with. (bitly.com/cdc-hh)
· If you want to volunteer right away, one of the best options is serving with Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian organization that is skilled at mobilizing volunteers in crisis areas. Samaritan's Purse will need thousands of volunteers over the coming months. Please click here to complete your volunteer application.
· You can also find quick opportunities to serve through Houston's First Baptist Church. Go to awakenmycity.com or download the Awaken My City app (Apple or Android).
· The churches in the B/CS community are making a real effort to work together and communicate about our efforts. You can see what everyone is doing at bcshelps.org.
· Donation centers are asking that people not bring any more used clothes because of the amount of time it takes to sort, as well as large amounts of clothing not being the most immediate need in shelters.
· Right now in regards to clothes they are asking for NEW underwear and socks only.
A note to FEMA to those desiring to serve
· The State of Texas is asking volunteers to not self-deploy, as unexpectedly showing up to any of the communities that have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey will create an additional burden for first responders. (Note: this is why we are working with people we know in these locations).
· The National VOAD has also noted the situation may not be conducive to volunteers entering the impacted zone and individuals may find themselves turned away by law enforcement.
· To ensure volunteer safety, as well as the safety of disaster survivors, volunteers should only go into affected areas with a specific volunteer assignment, proper safety gear, and valid identification.
· Most importantly, please be patient. Although the need is great, and desire to help strong, it is important to avoid donating material goods or self-deploying to help until communities are safe and public officials and disaster relief organizations have had an opportunity to assess the damage and identify what the specific unmet needs are.
· Volunteer generosity helps impacted communities heal from the tragic consequences of disasters, but recovery lasts much longer than today. There will be volunteer needs for many months, and years, after the disaster, so sign up now.