Friday, September 09, 2005

Our week at church

From my church's blog of "Katrina updates"

September 04, 2005

Legacy Shelter
Legacy has been designated as a Hurricane Relief Shelter by the City of Plano. This is part of the Collin County Emergency Operations Center relief efforts. Those coming to Legacy will be processed through the City offices and will be monitored by the city's processes of locating and caring for the evacuees.

We are humbled to join the City of Plano and the other churches in Plano and the surrounding communities who are opening their doors to those who have lost so much in the storms. Our prayers go out to them all, and we open our hearts and hands to serve them in the name of Jesus.

Currently, we are preparing for the arrival of evacuees by purchasing personal toiletry items, bedding, and bottled water. We will make needs known to you on this website as they become necessary.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Allen Arnn or call the church office.

We give this comfort because we have first received comfort from Christ:

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.

(2 Corinthians 1:3-6)

September 05, 2005

Labor Day Update
The latest information from the City of Plano is:

The City has placed 118 evacuees at three Plano churches since Saturday evening.

The City currently is in a holding pattern until Wednesday or Thursday to receive other evacuees. The City is waiting for more who could be leaving hospitals and hotels in the next few days.

The City of Plano has set up three donation sites to collect and distribute goods to victims as needed.

Based on this information, Legacy has put all volunteer and meal efforts on hold til Wednesday at 2pm. We will keep the schedule beyond Wed 2pm as is but will call people if we need them before Wednesday at 2pm. We do not need more items for the shelter at this time.

Legacy Church is prepared to receive evacuees as we requested on Sunday. You responded immediately and in force. Your compassion and enthusiasm to serve those in need was exemplary of people on mission with Christ.

If our church is not chosen as a shelter site, we will decide the best way to share your donations of money and goods to the hurricane evacuees and invite you to help us in the distribution of those resources. We will also make you aware of volunteer opportunities in the community and beyond.

A possibility remains for work and relief groups to go to the hurricane areas to serve the people on location. We will continue to explore those possibilities and communicate them to you as they become possible.

The Pastor, staff and leadership of Legacy would like to thank everyone who has contributed your time, talents, and treasures to provide a potential shelter for those in need. You are a positive example to this community of the length Christ followers will go to serve other in the name of Jesus.

Please return to this site Wednesday and Thursday, September 7, 8, for the updates on our efforts to respond to the evacuees' needs.

If you have questions or comments, you can contact Allen Arnn or call the church offices at 972.618.4600.

Latest Update
Sept 7, 5:13 pm

Today we attended a city of Plano meeting with all the churches who are set up to act as shelters. Three churches are housing survivors and several, including Legacy, have not yet been needed. The situation continues to be very fluid. Some indications are that more sheltering will be needed in Plano; other indications are to the contrary.

The city of Plano has asked Legacy to remain ready to shelter people for 72 more hours. We will, however, lower our level of readiness. We are, for now, cancelling all volunteers scheduled for shelter work. If the city does need us, they will give us 6 to 8 hours to ramp back up. We know that Legacy will be ready to sign up again for volunteering later this week if the need arises.

The city asked Legacy to be prepared and thanks to your help we are prepared in an incredible way. If we do not end up housing survivors here at Legacy, we'll have the great privilege of sharing all the donations we’ve received here and also our volunteer hours with other shelters or with Katrina survivors in some other way.

Please come Sunday ready to participate in the next phase. God is in control of everything and I know that whether we house survivors or give in other ways God is pleased with Legacy’s servant heart. We have an amazing church body!

Allen Arnn

Latest Update
Friday, Sept 9, 5:45pm
I'll post more info later, but here is the latest. At this point, the city has determined that Legacy does not any longer need to plan for the possibility of housing survivors in our building. The city of Plano is very, very appreciative of our being prepared, but the need for shelters is diminishing to a level of need that can be met by the 3 churches in town which are already housing people.

There are some very exciting things which the city is asking us to do as a church here locally for survivors using the money we've collected, the things donated and our volunteer hours. I'll write more about this later tonight and we'lll talk about it on Sunday.

You are a great church body!
Allen Arnn

September 09, 2005

What we can do
As I mentioned earlier, we have exciting job ahead of us in helping the hurricane survivors among us in Plano. The city of Plano is working very closely with churches to assist survivors as they move into more permanent housing. The city's part of the deal is to find apartments and get the rent and utilities paid for a certain number of months. The city is asking churches to assist by "adopting families". "Adopting a family" means finding or buying enough furniture to make an apartment livable and then helping the family move the furniture and their belongings into the apartment.

On Tuesday, I will attend a meeting with city of Plano officials and a few people from other Plano churches. We'll be pairing Katrina families in Plano with available apartments and with churches who can adopt them. Then, churches like Legacy can begin to use the money we've already raised and our further donations and volunteer hours to help these people get a fresh start.

Though I'm glad we prepared to be used as a shelter, I think this shift toward helping people move into their own new home will be even more rewarding and more helpful to the survivors.

In case you did not read yet: The city of Plano has determined that the demand for shelter in Plano has diminished to the point where Legacy will not be needed to house survivors. Six churches prepared as shelters; three churches were actually needed. I say, "Better to be over-prepared than under-prepared".

I'll close this post by saying that I think the city officials in Plano are doing a terrific job of responding in a situation that is VERY difficult to manage. I've heard that hurricane survivors living as far away as Grand Prairie are coming to Plano for assistance because Plano is doing a good job of meeting the needs that exist.

We'll talk more about all of this on Sunday. Be thinking about whether you have furniture you could donate and prepare for the great blessing of physically helping a family move into a new home.


No comments: