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.