Friday, September 09, 2005

Providing Katrina Relief in North Texas

I’ve had a very interesting week. On Friday, Sept 2, I attended Red Cross training on “shelter operations” with the plan of volunteering in one of the Dallas shelters. On Saturday I got a call from my pastor that I needed to attend a city meeting in our suburb where churches were being asked to set up shelters in their buildings. So I went from shelter-ignorant… to shelter-aware… to leading my church’s shelter efforts in 2 days. We committed to the city to act as a shelter, and we were ready to house 50 survivors. Our church body gave AMAZING amounts of supplies, bedding, food and money. Our worship center has been tranformed into a dorm. Our 24/7 volunteer schedule was on it’s way to filling up. Only one problem… we had no Katrina victims for our shelter. Six churches were prepared to shelter, but only three ended up being needed. I'm glad we had too many shelters instead of too few.

Even though we did not shelter people in our church a lot of good came out of the effort.

- We have greatly increased community among our church members
- We’ve seen our fairly small church respond in incredible ways
- We’ll be ready next time there is a disaster or terrorist attack
- We can give our loads of supplies in other ways
Now, we have further opportunities. I'll copy the posts from our church's Katrina "latest update" blog.

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