The situation in Houston is unprecedented and devastating. We’re talking a 1-in-500 year flood event. Some spots have received 40+ inches of rain. Entire communities are submerged. Thousands have been forced to seek shelter. Many, many people have lost everything.
And this ain’t over, folks. Tropical Storm Harvey remains parked over America’s fourth-largest city which means more rain, more flooding and more damage. And after the storm leaves (and the floods recede), the city and surrounding communities must begin rebuilding. We’re talking years before this area recovers.
Have you seen the pictures and videos on social media? They’re overwhelming. Like you, I want to do something. But what? Well, here are a few ways you can help.
Prayer is not a passive cop-out. It’s not a conscience-clearing avoidance strategy. Prayer, as followers of Jesus, is our first and most important response to any tragedy. What do we pray for? We pray for the people who lost everything. We pray for those who lost anything. Not that God would show up, as if our Creator is napping. God is never inactive. He’s present at all times, in all places. We pray that Houstonians would feel the peace and love of God.
We pray for a host of other things: the protection of the first responders, the safe retrieval of anyone who is unaccounted for, wisdom for those who will make decisions about humanitarian aid, perseverance for all who call the affected areas home.
Organizations and non-profits are already on the ground and will remain for months, maybe years, to come.
Bayside is partnering with Convoy of Hope. To give, text “FLOOD” to 56316.
If you’re interested in donating supplies, you can give to the Houston Food Bank, Galveston Food Bank, Corpus Christi Food Bank, Southeast Texas Food Bank, Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley, Central Texas Food Bank, or San Antonio Food Bank.
If you happen to live close to the affected areas and are willing to provide shelter, you can sign up at Air BnB to house people who have been displaced.
Finally, if you know people who live near the affected areas and are willing to serve on the ground (or if your schedule allows you to travel and help), you can sign up to volunteer with the Red Cross here.
If you know of any additional ways people can give, leave a comment below.
Grace and peace, friends.
Frank is lead writer and editor for the blog at Bayside church. He is also a husband, father and Jesus-follower. Occasionally he plays golf. Often he drinks coffee.