I had a letter written – way back 10 days ago – Then Harvey happened.
Now this is the Letter that matters:
First responders are still arriving in Houston, or headed to Louisiana. Harvey is not done yet. And there are about 500 houses in and around LaGrange that are under water, as I write. This is what we can do now, and in the next few weeks.
Now: – Stay away, let the trained first responders do their work.
They do not need another person with their heart in the right place, but their car stranded and blocking the road.
NOW: – Give Money – Disasters are Expensive.
There will be an offering Sunday September 3 And again on September 10 for the Gulf Coast Synod Disaster Fund. This is local, little to no overhead. Goes direct ly to churches and families in greatest need. – There will also be an opportunity to give directly to Faith, Dickinson. They had extensive damage from the last hurricane to hit the gulf coast, and now are facing flooding again. Faith, Dickinson, will be passing some of what we send along to the local food bank.
Soon: Donate Stuff: Donate the right stuff at the right time.
Part of God’s Work – Our Hands will be collecting and sending the right stuff to distribution points where it can be handed out. There are things to send soon, and other things to send later. Here is a list of things you could bring on Sept. 3 or bring with you on the 10th. Generic items are OK. Bring as much as you want of individual items and and we will sort and pack them into kits.
A 5 gallon bucket with lid
20 oz cotton wet mom
A capped broom
A scrub brush
Leather palm work gloves
Medical exam gloves
Heavy duty garbage bags (3)
Personal care items list
Hand towels, Bath towels, washcloths
Bath-size bar (4 to 5 oz.) of soap
Adult-size toothbrush in its original packaging
Sturdy comb or brush
Twin sized Blanket or throw
Feminine hygiene items
Diapers & Pull-ups
Single packs facial tissue
Gallon size & quart size zip lock bags
Over The Counter pain medicine – sealed
Individually wrapped granola bars, snack bars, protein bars
We are working with Our Saviour’s to organize shipments to the LaGrange area. Please be patient while we find out what the greatest need is. Please be patient if there are last-minute changes in plans. Even though Harvey is moving slowly the situation on the ground changes hourly. Right now we are planning on sending something in the next few days, and even more – and possibly different items Sept 10.
Also — At this point please:
No cloths or shoes.
No canned food – Or anything that would need cooking.
The food bank can use money more effectively.
A personal story:
After Ike, I made two trips with members of Immanuel Lutheran (Wiedeville) to Galveston Island. Both trips were organized by the Synod office, with specific locations to work on, and tasks to do. We got a lot done! On our first trip we helped clean out Zion Lutheran Church- now Zion Retreat Center – and at least 3 houses. On our second trip, the team I was on spent most of our time sorting donated clothing. This was a month after the hurricane. And, honestly, our main task was to separate clothing that was really usable, and that which was just junk. We put the good stuff on racks where people could come get it for free. The remainder was set aside to be bailed in huge bundles and shipped overseas.