This morning on my local christian radio station KSBJ I learned of an organization from Virginia called Christ in Action who have been first responders since Ike. They are camped at a local large church, Grace Community on I 45 located at exit 31 -- these fine folks have been serving meals daily since Ike and are "catering" to the island which is Exit 0 on I 45 meaning they are traveling ONE WAY approx. 31 miles.
No only are they catering meals to areas STILL without power, but they are removing trees, gutting houses, and in general ministering to the hurting. The gentleman on the radio said they triage those in need - widows, elderly, disabled, single moms, etc. In other words, those who really can't help themselves. They have a huge financial need. He said they spend $400 a day in diesel alone to keep their generators and refrigerated trucks running. Currently they are "in the hole" financially and need assistance so they can continue to work down here among the needy.
If you do nothing else, please read their blog - especially the story about Judy called As Promised then the entry about Frank & Margaret. These two stories will make you cry. Then scroll down from the entry about Frank & Margaret and read Hurricane Who? It echos some of my own misgivings that the people down here are forgotten by the media.
Again, I heard on the radio that Bolivar probably won't have power until Nov 15th, and that the ferry which runs between the islands won't be fully operational for 3 to 6 months. They said the tent communities will close by the end of the month--where will these folks go? The gentleman from Christ in Action said that much of Galveston Island still looks like it did the day after the storm - there are so many who haven't even begun to gut their houses which are now covered in dangerous mold and mildew. Their organization is offering hope - first with the basics of a good meal and by rolling up their sleeves and helping to do the work - but also with counseling. They are assisting people as they walk through the process of simply knowing what to do next, how to understand insurance, etc. Just imagine the hope this gives - this teams knows and understands disasters and they can guide those who are still in shock from the disaster striking them.
When I first started this blog my intentions were to ramble about my journey as a quilter, yet as life has happened I have been compelled to ramble about my journey simply as a human being. Quilting is what I do, not who I am. It's what connects me to other quilters, who I've found are marvelous compassionate people. Through this blog I hope we are connecting on a deeper level. Life is full of serious times, fun times, and silly times. Right now life in the gulf coast of Texas is very very serious and we need folks in other areas to come along side to encourage and help. Perhaps its through donations to organizations like Christ in Action or Samaritans Purse or others, perhaps it's through Blankets of Love or organizing a mission trip down south with your church or organization. If nothing else, keep folks around you reminded of Ike - so many have forgotten, there's so much going on in our own little daily lives much less all the national attention on the upcoming election and world events. Just in the craziness of daily life, please take time to offer a prayer for Ike survivors and the teams who are so unselfishly ministering to the victims. You may not be able to give, but your voice, your email forward, your link to these relief organizations could be what prompts someone who is able to give the opportunity to do just that.
PS check out this story Helping Families Caught in the Undertow of Ike