It is one of those weird time warps where it seems like Harvey was forever ago, or it could have been just yesterday. For many people, especially those who did not sustain damage from Harvey, it is long gone out of our minds. We don't see it on TV anymore, and if we do, we are weary of seeing it, and have become numb to the devastation that is still out there.
We chose to continue our Harvey relief efforts into the new year. We are reaching out in two main directions. The first is continuing our relationship with the Needham Road community. We are going there each week with dinner and a small food pantry. Twice a month we are coming in with a larger more complete food pantry, thanks to our partnership with The Montgomery County Food Bank. The other direction we are reaching out is partnering with Battle Cry Ministries in Magnolia, Texas. This church has committed to helping those who experienced damage during the storm. They built bunkhouses on their property and a shower house. They are hosting volunteer groups from all over the country who are coming in to help. Until their kitchen is up and running, we are helping to provide evening meals as well as lunch fixings and snacks.
One of the most important lessons that we learned from our first foray into Disaster Relief was that partnering is one of the best things that we can do. When we work with others, we are able to accomplish so much more.
Thank you for your continued support of all of our work in the community! Together we can transform it into a even better place!
It's been hard to explain all that we have done and learned in the first 11 months of our operations. We want to try and quantify all the good work that our sponsors and volunteers have accomplished. Here is a list of numbers:
17,475 Meals served (our goal was 3,000)
5,415 Volunteer hours (our goal was 1,000)
60,100 Pounds of perishables shared (our goal was 10,000lbs)
108 Days the truck was on the road
5 Different storage spaces
124 Instagram posts
247 Instagram followers
486 Facebook page likes
202 Average of unique viewers on the website per week
469 Average of page views on the website per week
102 People who have signed up on our volunteer list
30,342 Dollars donated to help us continue Harvey relief
112,327 Dollars donated to help us continue our food pantries and community meals
Obviously, this does not do justice to the work that was done this year. The stories are better.
There are lots of more stories that could be told. There are more stories to be written. Happy 2018! We are looking forward to what it brings us!
We are two weeks into our first disaster relief effort. Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast about 20 days ago. I can say, without question this has been our busiest season to date. In the last 2 weeks we have doubled every number that we track. Doubled the meals, doubled the amount of food given away, and doubled the amount of volunteer hours. It has been a steep learning curve, but we are learning.
One of the things that I am learning is that we are far from finished with our recovery efforts. I went personally to one area today, only 4 miles from my house, and it was also the first day that FEMA had been to this neighborhood. I am talking about a neighborhood that saw 8-12 feet of water rush through their homes. A neighborhood where the water was literally up to the rooftops. They had banded together, as Texans do, but the needs are great. I think we will be helping feed this community for weeks, before they are able to even think of living in their houses again, much less getting the appliances to cook.
The other thing that I am learning, is that volunteers are awesome. I have always had a high regard for our volunteers, but the dedication, hard work, and can-do attitudes have lifted my spirits, and given me energy to keep plugging along.
We have a lot of work yet to do. I know we are up for the task. As Bishop Andy Doyle put it, "for such a time as this..." we are called.
We are now into Day 10 of our Harvey Relief Efforts. One would think that we are slowing down, but the need is still great, as so many people do not have usable kitchens or an ability to cook right now. Our awesome team of volunteers is going strong, and here is what we have done in 10 days:
1784 volunteer hours
3, 275 meals served
6 food pantries at 3 locations
2,000 lbs of perishables given at food pantries
113 families given cleaning supplies
19 fill ups of diesel for the generator
610 lbs of smoked meat cut, diced, and sliced
38 chickens cooked and pulled
30 gallons of chicken stock made
40 gallons of beef broth made
90 lbs of potatoes peeled
100 lbs of pasta cooked
200 cases of water delivered
countless prayers said
Thanks to all who are making this happen. We could not have done it with out our partners at Texas Cart Builders, Keep US Fed Montgomery County, Montgomery County Food Bank, St. Isidore Episcopal Church, and Trinity Episcopal Church.
Thank you for those who helped in our first day of disaster relief. A hot meal of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans went out to feed 100, and we got prepped to do tomorrow's dinner and food collection. And for your prayers, especially your prayers, we found out that the truck is undamaged in storage and we just need the water to go down on the roads before we can get it out of the lot.
Keep an eye out for more volunteer sign ups to come, as well as more items that we will need donated. You are #offensivelygenerous!
We are on day 5 of the storm, and we hope that the worst of the weather is past. This means that we are going to be going into high gear with disaster relief. As of today, we can not get to the food truck. The roads that lead to the storage unit are all flooded, but we have a degree of hope that the food truck might have survived.
But we are more than a vehicle.
Efforts are now underway to help in our community, and we will need everyone's help in the days, weeks, and months ahead. Please check the volunteer page to see where you can help, and our give page to see how to donate financially.