The waters have receded in Houston, revealing the full extent of the tragedy there. Hurricane Harvey dumped an unimaginable 27 trillion gallons of water on Texas and Louisiana and it is estimated the cleanup could exceed $180 billion dollars. At least 60 people lost their lives in the storm and its aftermath.
In the midst of this heartbreak and loss, people poured into churches in the affected areas this past Sunday to find comfort and encouragement. Churches who in some cases sustained damage from the storm have quickly mobilized to feed, clothe and house their neighbors, truly showing that they practice what they preach.
Those of us in the rest of the country and around the world are left wondering what we can do to help. First, we can pray for all those affected by the storm. But we can also help by donating to churches and faith-based organizations who are literally on the frontlines of helping those who are suffering in the area. Monetary donations are needed now, not donations of food or clothing items. TX VOAD, an organization coordinating relief efforts issued a statement, which read in part:
The State of Texas is asking that you please DO NOT donate unsolicited goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, medicine, or perishable foodstuffs at this time… The most effective way for individuals and private-sector partners to support disaster survivors in their recovery is to donate money and time to trusted, reputable, voluntary or charitable organizations. Cash donations offer voluntary agencies and faith-based organizations the most flexibility to address urgently developing needs, as well as needs that arise over the coming months and years. With cash in hand, these organizations can obtain needed resources locally which will help local economies recover.
There are a number of our partner churches in the area who are doing a fantastic job in ministering to the community. Please prayerfully consider giving a generous donation to help them help the victims of Hurricane Harvey:
- New Light Christian Center: Bishop I.V. Hilliard’s church is working closely with FEMA to coordinate relief efforts for the Houston area. Click this link to see a video from Bishop Hilliard and follow this link to donate to their efforts.
- Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church: Pastor Marcus Cosby and his team are doing an incredible job helping Houston heal. Find out how you can help them here.
- Find out how you can assist Pastor Ed Montgomery and the Abundant Life Cathedral church family’s relief efforts by visiting their website here.
- The Fountain of Praise in Houston is accepting donations to assist in Hurricane relief efforts. You can donate here.
- Fort Bend Church: Rev. Byron C. Stevenson’s church is engaged in a multi-faceted outreach to the community in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Find out how you can be involved here.
- Pastor Andre Lewis recently arrived as the new senior pastor at New Faith Church. This great church is deeply involved in relief efforts for those in the community who are hurting. You can help their efforts by clicking here to donate.
- Finally, our friends at the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board are known for mobilizing hundreds of volunteers to serve meals and offer help in the areas hardest hit by natural disasters. This organization represents more than 46,000 SBC churches in the US. Their efforts in Texas and Louisiana were highlighted this weekend on Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN. To find out how you can donate or volunteer, click here.
Thank you in advance for joining hearts and hands with our brothers and sisters in Texas and Louisiana to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are suffering.
About the Author
Alan Riley is the General Manager of Piksel Faith, committed to working with church leaders to master new digital mediums. A self-confessed nerd, photographer, writer and guitarist, Alan also currently serves as the Interim Worship Pastor at Towne View Church in Metro Atlanta. Connect with him on Twitter @AlanRiley or on Facebook at Facebook.com/alanriley