Posted: 8/31/17 at 9:15am.
Henrico, VA – Virginia Baptist Disaster Response and Baptist General Association of Virginia leaders are continuing to monitor the still-ongoing situation in southeast Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey. With the rain finally moving out of the area, volunteers will be mobilized and sent to Texas once the floodwaters recede and it is deemed safe to do so.
Our current partners for this response are:
- Texas Baptist Men/Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
- North American Baptist Fellowship
- Baptist General Convention of Texas Crisis Resiliency Team
- American Red Cross
- Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster at the local, state, and national level
These organizations are working in coordination with the Texas Department of Public Safety Division of Emergency Management. We are continuing to maintain close communication with these partners as they determine a response plan that is helpful and effective.
Right now, there are three of ways you and your church can respond.
First, you can pray. Please pray for the victims of Hurricane Harvey. Please pray for officials to make the best decisions in the coming weeks and months ahead. Please pray for those who will be responding to the disaster once cleanup begins. The situation in Texas is simply overwhelming; pray for those who strive to be the hands and feet of God as they offer comfort and relief and begin the rebuilding process.
Secondly, you can give at BGAVDR.org/Harvey. You can make the biggest difference right now by making a financial contribution. When your gift is combined with thousands of others, we can provide exponentially more relief. Furthermore, all donations designated for Hurricane Harvey will be used to maximize the benefit to the individuals and families affected by the storm. One-hundred percent of your financial gifts will help disaster response volunteers obtain materials and supplies, food and water, equipment operations, pay for onsite operation expenses, and much more. The BGAV does not retain any funds for overhead or staff administrative costs.
Additionally, we have received a request for Flood Buckets and Hygiene Kits, which we are collecting for distribution through a partner already in place and prepared for this operation. We have received NO other requests for material contributions and will not accept any at this time because we want to focus our relief efforts in the most beneficial manner. If we receive requests for material contributions, we will pass along that information. Financial contributions are the most effective option right now.
Lastly, you can volunteer. Trained volunteers should inform us of your availability over the course of the next several weeks by going online to BGAVDR.org/Harvey. Please inform us of your availability over the course of the next several weeks.
Individuals interested in volunteering who have not yet been trained should consider attending one of the upcoming training events (see below) or by monitoring the website and Facebook pages for opportunities. There will definitely be opportunities for untrained volunteers for this response, particularly when we move into the recovery phase of the operation.
Upcoming opportunities to train will be held September 3 in Nickelsville, September 23 in Alexandra, and October 7 in Waynesboro. View the training calendar for registration information.
“Virginia Baptists have ALWAYS taken the ‘long view’ when it comes to our responses,” Aaron Lee, Virginia Baptist disaster response coordinator, said. “This response will be no different. There will be opportunities well into 2018 for teams to go and serve.” He added, “As always, we will be looking to establish a long term relationship once the initial relief phase draws to a conclusion.”
The latest updates will be posted at BGAVDR.org/Harvey. You can also follow Virginia Baptist Disaster Response on Facebook.