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08/30/2017

Hurricane Harvey disaster response: How you can help now

Because we are stronger and better: joining Jesus in the restoration of the world, the Southern Ohio Synod is working through our ministry partners at Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio to provide the help that is needed now in Texas. John Pyron, Director of LSS Disaster Services, asked that we share the following information with you, so your congregation can join together with other ELCA congregations across the country to show the love of Jesus to our brothers and sisters in Texas who are suffering because of Hurricane Harvey. Your help is needed now. Please read Mr. Pyron's message below to find out how.

 

Hurricane Harvey: How YOU can help NOW

As Hurricane Harvey – the most powerful hurricane to impact Texas in over 50 years – made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast, high winds and severe flooding affected thousands of residents. Heavy rain continues to cause dangerous flooding in many areas as rainfall totals approach 40-50”. To put it simply, there are people in Texas in need of our help.

 

Donate to Support the Relief Effort

With damage estimates already coming in in the tens of billions of dollars, the recovery effort will be long and hard. Upbring Lutheran Services, the Gulf Coast Synod, the LCMS Texas District, and Lutheran Disaster Response-US have developed disaster relief funds to help those immediately impacted by the storm. Financial gifts are the most impactful as well as the most flexible in this situation. Please do not send material goods at this time (food, bottled water, clothing, etc.); the affected local communities are not able to handle donated goods as they do not have space to store donations. Here is a great video that explains the impact that financial gifts can have on local communities affected by disasters: https://youtu.be/12cNBNKIXv8.

 

To support the Synod disaster fund send financial gifts to

Gulf Coast Synod Disaster Fund
12941 North Freeway
Suite 210
Houston, Texas 77060
Memo: Hurricane Harvey

Upbring Lutheran Services in Austin, TX has a disaster response team mobilizing in the affected areas to provide 350+ foster families with immediate, short, and long term response and recovery assistance. Click the following link to support Upbring’s disaster response efforts: http://www.upbring.org/disaster-response-giving/.

To support the Texas District response effort go to https://txlcms.org/how-can-i-help-hurricane-harvey/.

Lutheran Disaster Response-US will be supporting the Hurricane Harvey response and recovery efforts as well. More information can be found here: http://www.elca.org/en/Our-Work/Relief-and-Development/Lutheran-Disaster-Response/Our-Impact/US-Hurricane-Relief

A bulletin insert for hurricane response can be found here: http://download.elca.org/ELCA%20Resource%20Repository/Hurricane_Relief_bulletin_insert_082517.pdf

 

Organizing Volunteer Mission Teams

There will be a time for volunteer mission teams to help with clean up and care, but not yet. Out of state volunteers are being asked to remain on standby until the flood waters recede and local residents and officials are able to survey the damage and assess what resources are needed.

As a reminder, volunteers should never self-deploy; if you or your congregation/faith community is interested in organizing a disaster response/recovery team, please contact John Pyron, Director of LSS Disaster Services (phone: 937.540.2507 or email: jpyron@lssnetworkofhop.org). Pyron has over a decade of experience coordinating disaster response and recovery volunteers, and LSS can provide pre-trip orientation and training as well as helping connect your group with local relief organizations.

As the statewide coordinating agency for Lutheran disaster services and the Ohio Disaster Network, LSS has over 20 years of experience coordinating disaster response and recovery through training, mentorship, and community collaboration.

To support this coordination work, please visit http://www.lssnetworkofhope.org/disasterservices/ and click on the orange “Give” button in the top right corner.