Adventists Work Together to Help Those in Need
Burleson, Texas » When Hurricane Harvey hit Southeast Texas along the Gulf Coast on August 25, the world watched as nearly 50 inches of rain continued to fall for the next week. At least 70 individuals were killed and tens of thousands were forced to evacuate their homes. While life-saving activities were ongoing, the Texas Conference and Southwest Region Conference Adventist Community Services, along with the North American Division’s ACS department and volunteers from across the U.S., partnered with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), to organize relief efforts. Texas ACS mobilized its Mobile Distribution Unit to a San Antonio mega-shelter, Victoria, Texas, and Rockport, Texas. The Southwest Region Conference’s World Harvest Outreach church partnered with the City of Houston as an official distribution center. The Southwest Region also opened its Lone Star Camp for evacuees. The Texas Adventist Book Center committed to provide food and other materials needed for those evacuees. The Southwestern Union and the North American Division held special offerings on September 2 and 9 specifically for Hurricane Harvey relief.
One of the hardest hit Adventist entities was The Oaks Adventist Christian School in Cypress, Texas, which sustained major structural damage from flood waters. Southwestern Adventist University students were among the first to volunteer to assist the school with the immediate need of demolition and cleaning due to the risk of mold. Approximately 13 churches and two schools sustained damage to varying degrees.
The Texas Conference cancelled a planned Master Guide Camporee and instead these 800 volunteers spent the last two weekends of September assisting with cleanup and relief efforts in neighborhoods in Northwest Houston and Beaumont.
To volunteer or donate to the ongoing recovery effort, contact your local conference or contact the Southwestern Union Hurricane Harvey Relief Liaison, Helvis Moody, at 817.295.0476. For the latest updates, visit www.SouthwesternAdventist.org.