Hurricane Harvey Relief
Hurricane Harvey has devastated the coastal areas of Texas as well as flooded Houston and surrounding areas with record rains. Many have asked how they can help, we have compiled a list of several ways for you to serve immediately and in the future:
How To Help Immediately
Please send the cleaners to FUMC Victoria, 407 North Bridge, Victoria, TX 77901.
- Pray— Help comes when we fervently and faithfully pray together for those affected.
- Prepare Kits— Help comes when individuals and families put together cleaning buckets. You can find instructions to put together those buckets here.
- Gift Cards— Help comes in the donation of gift cards for evacuees and first responders. Any amount is appreciated. $25 or $50 cards to stores like Walmart or Target have proven to be the best resources. You may also bring those to the church office anytime this week or drop it by a Connecting Point this weekend.
- Early Response Team Training— Help comes in the form of specially trained Early Response Teams who will be heading to affected areas. A team from our church will be leaving tomorrow. If you would like to be trained to do this work in the future, you can find more information here or contact Susan Luttrell with any questions.
Here are some of the immediate ways that UMCOR is helping people recover:
UMCOR is a part of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries, the denomination’s mission agency. For Thomas Kemper, the agency’s top executive, it is a perfect fit.
“UMCOR is part of Global Ministries because we in UMCOR treat everybody equal … and this is from the beginning, 75 years ago, without looking at color, creed or any distinction and not giving preference to Methodists. It’s part of Global Ministries because it’s an expression of the same Methodist understanding of reaching out, being in solidarity, sharing God’s love.”
Susan Luttrell, director of serving and outreach at First United Methodist Church in Mansfield, Texas, has seen that solidarity in recent weeks in her visits to the Coastal Bend area of the state, which was devastated when Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 25.
As a district disaster coordinator, Luttrell led an Early Response Team from the Central Texas Conference to the area in the Rio Texas Conference.
“It’s not only discussing the ins and outs of tarping or mucking out a house, but it’s also covering the most important thing that we do: being a caring Christian presence. And if we do nothing else at a survivor’s home but sit and listen to their story, then we’ve done what we needed to do,” Luttrell said.
Another hallmark of UMCOR is providing aid in areas that don’t get much media attention.
While all eyes were focused on the flooding in Houston after Harvey, tiny communities in the Coastal Bend area had fallen off the radar, said Luttrell, who traveled from town to town to access needs. “If your house was damaged and you can’t go to work and you can’t earn money, you’re starting to get in between a rock and hard place real fast,” she said.