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We are devastated about the impact Hurricane Harvey has had on Texas and our hometown of Houston over the past couple of days. Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to check on us. We are safe and sound and our home has not suffered any damage, but there are many people who have lost everything and need our help.

Houston has been our home for three years now (and my husband grew up here).  We have fallen in love with this city and it is absolutely devastating to see friends and neighbors losing everything. However, we are so proud of our community and how everyone is banning together to help. There are so many inspiring stories of citizens and professionals alike risking their lives to help others. Those whose homes are standing against the storm are pulling together clothing, food, baby items and anything else they can to help others who have been less fortunate. It’s so uplifting to see such love in pure devastation. This world is still a wonderful place with good people and we are seeing examples of that all over our city.

We are listing a few ways you can contribute either by donating or volunteering if you’re located here in Texas. Thanks to Fox 5Houston Chronicle and Texas Monthly for pulling the below tips together. Please share with anyone who might be able to help. #PrayforHouston

Donate or Volunteer

– Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund –

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner launched the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Funds will be administered by the Greater Houston Community Foundation and accepts tax-deductible flood-relief donations. To donate, click here.

– Texas Diaper Bank –

The Texas Diaper Bank, which is based out of San Antonio, is asking for cash and diaper donations to help provide for baby and senior citizen victims who need access to clean diapers in the midst of flooding and evacuations. Diapers take up a lot of space in a delivery truck, which means that other relief organizations prioritize food and clothing to affected areas. The Texas Diaper Bank fills in that need.

– Sumaritan’s Purse –

Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.  Two disaster relief units are now in Texas to help residents as they continue to struggle with rain, flooding, and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. They are working to have a total of five of these tractor trailers in the state, setting up volunteer bases around Victoria, Rockport/Portland, Galveston/Santa Fe, and two in Houston.  Thousands of volunteers will be needed for months to come. Please go to their Volunteer Network to sign up and get the latest information or donate here.

– Global Giving –

Global Giving is aiming to raise $2 million to provide emergency supplies like food, water, and medicine as well as longer-term recovery assistance. Global Giving says all donations made to the fund will be exclusively used to support local relief and recovery efforts. Click here to learn how to donate.

– Texas Baptist Men –

Texas Baptist Men trains volunteers and coordinates efforts to provide prompt assistance and emergency support during times of disaster. TBM has been involved in disaster relief in Texas and around the world since 1967. The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is one of the largest responders to disasters in the United States.

– St. Luke’s United Methodist Church –

All local churches are a wonderful place to give financial contributions and to contact for volunteer opportunities.  Texas churches will be helping local families in need and supporting the community through volunteering and donations.  Our church home, St. Luke’s, is accepting donations here and collecting items for families in need.  (Immediate priorities are diapers and fans.)  Email Denise Snider at dsnider@stlukesmethodist.org for more ways to help.  If you are not located in the Houston areas, but want to donate, please send supplies to the below address and we will make sure your mission is served -> Attn: Hurricane Harvey Victims 3471 Westheimer Road | Houston, TX 77027

– Portlight –

It’s difficult sometimes for the large relief groups to provide for people with special needs. Portlight, which has provided inclusive relief to people with disabilities for twenty years—including in Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy—is working to ensure that people who require medical equipment and assistive technology have what they need after they evacuate, and to make sure that those same folks are able to get to safety.

– The Houston Food Bank –

There will be tremendous need for food donations after the storm to support families in shelters, the homeless community and for all the heroic volunteers, The Houston Food Bank will help.  Learn how to donate and volunteer your time by clicking here.

– Team Rubicon –

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams.  They emphasizes the organization’s military ethos of small, cohesive units to make a big difference in areas impacted by natural disaster.

– The SPCA of Texas –

The SPCA of Texas is taking in hundreds of animals transferred from shelters on the coast who aren’t safe where they are right now. You can donate to the organization to help defray the costs—or you can open your home and foster a displaced animal until it can be reunited with its owner.

 

– Sugar & Cloth –

Fellow Houston, Texas bloggers, Ashley & Jared of Sugar & Cloth have created a wonderful matching program to match families who want to donate with families in need.  Right now she said they have more families donating than have requested help so make sure you share this great cause with anyone you know that has lost everything in the flood.  They are looking for families to sponsor!

– Airbnb –

If you’re not in one of the affected areas and you have a spare room, you can host someone by listing your home on Airbnb for free, with no service fees to anyone. Right now, most of the listings are in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio. If you’re in any of those cities—or another part of the state that’s not experiencing flooding—you might consider listing your space so displaced people have more options.

– The American Red Cross –

I’m going to recommend giving money to other organizations where you know 100% of your donations are going to the cause, but there are great ways to volunteer. To find out how you can volunteer for the American Red Cross click here. Red Cross is also seeking blood donations. Texas organization Carter BloodCare and South Texas Blood and Tissue Center are also seeking blood donations.

– Salvation Army –

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services is working to help provide food and clothing to victims. Donors can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or click here. The Salvation Army is also looking for volunteers; find out how you can help the Salvation Army here.

Pray

Last and certainly not least, we believe in God and the power of prayer.  We ask for your prayers at this time of need. I’m sharing the prayer and Bible verse below that our church, St. Luke’s United Methodist, shared this week.

God of rain and rainbow,
We pray…
for safety for those in peril,
for courage and peace for those in fear
for discernment, that we would make good decisions
for inspiration and power, that we might know how to put our faith to work in love
for wisdom, that we would remember what really matters.
We pray especially…
for those who are particularly vulnerable today.
for our leaders… guide them as they carry such important responsibility on their shoulders today.
And especially we pray for those who put their lives at risk to protect us.
We are bold to humbly ask that the rain would stop.
In the name of Christ,
Amen

But now thus says the Lord,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….

Isaiah 43:1-3a

Thank you for all the love and support from near and far, we truly feel it!

Team Update: Kate, Kathryn and Katelyn are all safe and dry.  None of us have personally experienced flooding in our homes, yet.  Kate is in the worst of it without power and severe flooding around her.  Please continue to keep Houston in your prayers.  Houston calligraphy by Meg Grant who is also safe at home. xo