Seems everybody knows somebody hit by Hurricane Harvey, but if you don’t, and if you’re interested in helping storm victims by way of a trustworthy “personal connection,” I’ve got friends and family up and down the Texas coast. While none of us can help them all, these folks are particularly special to me and are working tirelessly with their local churches to offer and receive aid. I know they’re “feeling the love” down in Texas, but the damage is so wide spread that they will need more. Thank you for any prayer and support you can offer! Now, here are a few of my beloved peeps in Texas and a quick synopsis of their situations if you’d like to single out one person or one church to support.
- My dear mom – Marilyn Lacour. Her Meyerland home of 55 years, my childhood home, was flooded on her 82nd birthday and she does not have flood insurance. With the help of volunteers and family, her home has already been gutted and she hopes to rebuild. But she is heartbroken and her small, elderly congregation (of which she is very active) had 15 members suffer flooding of their homes! Any donations to St. Phillips United Methodist would be appreciated. (http://www.spumc.com/ministries/opportunities-give/) Personal notes to my mom, or gift cards, can be sent to: Marilyn Lacour c/o Debbie Focke. 5463 Imogene. Houston, TX 77096.
- My sister – Debbie Focke. Though only one mile from my mother’s house, Debbie’s home didnot flood. (This means my mother can stay with her for weeks and months. We are so grateful!) However, Debbie’s church congregation was devastated by the flooding. Donations can go to Bellaire United Methodist Church, which is my childhood church. (https://www.bellaireumc.org/)
- My sister – Diane Stell. Diane’s home in League City was only mildly flooded. But her large evangelical church (Clear Creek Community Church) is directly ministering to thousands in her community near Dickinson – a town hit very hard by Harvey. To give a donation, text “HarveyRelief” to 51555.
4. My cousin, one of my bridesmaids, and a former college roommate – Judy Kelley Leber. Judy’s home was spared, but her father’s town, Wharton, TX, went almost entirely under water. My uncle’s church is receiving donations and directly ministering to families at: First Baptist Church Wharton: 507 N. Fulton St. Wharton, TX 77488. Phone: 979-532-1462. Another contact for the same community is: Grace Community Fellowship, 1900 E. Boling Hwy, Wharton, TX 77488. Phone: 979-532-3999.
5. My college roommate, and one of my other bridesmaids – Judith Overton Williams. Her husband is a pastor in Victoria, Texas and well connected in the community. Judith works at Perpetual House, a shelter for women, which was hit hard by the storm and flooding. Judith says that a housing shortage in Victoria is “critical.” Donations for her community can be made to: HarveyReliefCoastalBend.com.
6. My former co-worker, and one more of my bridesmaids (3 of my 4 bridesmaids were affected by this storm!) – Sherri Longino Whiting. Sherri is originally from Rockport, Texas. Receiving a direct hit from Harvey, her parents and brother lost just about “everything” as did most in Rockport. Sherri’s father is presently in the hospital with pneumonia. Their church is accepting donations at: http://fbcrockport.net/
- A family friend and high school buddy – Danny Walker. Danny is a first responder in Beaumont, TX and spent days in search and rescue mode. His family is safe, but his church, Calvary Baptist of Beaumont, is organizing aid for their hard hit community. Contact Cliff Ozmun: 409-351-4880 or Clay Jones: 409-673-5075.
- A Mystery of History family in my self-paced online class – Jakki G. Her family suffered under several feet of water and the family was caught in a dangerous evacuation. I will be supplying them with new curriculum (and other families I learn of). If you would like to help directly, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you, or someone you know, were displaced by Harvey or Irma, please let me help with the gift of a downloadable Audio Book of The Mystery of History. My hope is that a little world history would be a welcome distraction to students of all ages who were suddenly pushed out of their home and away from any routine. (These Mp3s are also helpful to mamas who are busy cleaning and rebuilding!) Email me directly at email@example.com.
While all of life’s storms are difficult, as a native Houstonian and Texan at heart, Hurricane Harvey was particularly “personal.” Thank you for remembering these special people! My prayers are with those bracing for Irma as I write today!