Article Aug 28, 2017

How to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

The area around Houston, Texas, has been hit by devastating floods after Hurricane Harvey struck the Gulf Coast this weekend. Torrential rain has led to massive flooding with 50 inches expected by Wednesday.

Even before the hurricane hit landfall Southern Baptists across the country were making preparations to provide relief.  Leading the effort is the North American Mission Board’s Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) which, along with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army, is one of the three largest mobilizers of trained disaster relief volunteers in the United States.

The SBDR has chapters across the United States with approximately 70,000 trained volunteers and 1,550 mobile units for feeding, chainsaw, mud-out, command, communication, childcare, shower, laundry, water purification, repair/rebuild, and power generation. As NAMB vice president of Send Relief David Melber says, “every national disaster is an opportunity to step up and be Christ’s love in action.”

Here are four ways you can help SBDR’s efforts:

Pray

The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is calling all Christians to pray for our neighbors suffering from the ravages of this disaster. As Frank S. Page, SBC Executive Committee president and CEO, said in a statement, “Our prayers go out to the people of Texas in the massive flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey. Our Baptist disaster relief units will be the first on the scene to minister in a variety of ways. I call on Southern Baptists to pray and be ready to assist through giving and going. God bless Texas.”

Give directly

Donation to SBDR will help equip volunteers to operate units and provide hot showers, fresh laundry, and nutritious meals. Southern Baptist chaplains will also be in the area to provide spiritual counseling.

You can give directly through the NAMB website here or text SENDRELIEF to 41444.

For phone donations, call 1-866-407-NAMB (6262) or mail checks to NAMB, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Designate checks for “Disaster Relief.”

Sponsor a Crisis Response Bucket

NAMB’s Send Relief Crisis Response Buckets contain necessities to equip families impacted by disasters. Each bucket contains heavy duty cleaning supplies, protection, and tools for addressing the physical impact on a property resulting from water or wind damage. The easily distributable and durable buckets serve a second purpose as a storage vehicle for valuables. Each bucket costs approximately $50, so any amount you can provide is helpful.

Prepare

SBDR teams will be on the ground for months to come. You and your church can begin preparing today to help provide the help that will be needed. To volunteer for Disaster Relief, contact your state Baptist convention Disaster Relief office for more information.