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Update: Monday, Sept. 11 - Response Highlights

by Rev. Ginger Watson, CTC Disaster Response Coordinator
United Methodists in the Central Texas Conference have responded with extraordinary generosity to our neighbors whose lives have been upended by Hurricane Harvey in the Rio Texas and Texas Conferences. While the list of all the ways that the people and local churches of the CTC have responded would make War and Peace look like a pamphlet, here are a few highlights:
  • CTC Early Response Teams are on the ground in the Rio Texas Conference clearing the muck and debris from homes. We have more scheduled to deploy in the coming days/weeks.
  • More than 100 people are registered for ERT training courses in the next two weeks – that’s more than 100 new ERTs soon to be available to respond to disaster (not just Harvey) from our conference. If you are not one of these 100-plus registrants for training and you are feeling called to join the CTC ERT family, please visit ctcumc.org/ERTtrainings to learn more.
  • A CTC ERT training team deployed to the Corpus Christi area to train 50 people eager to help their neighbors as ERTs.
  • The conference has sent hundreds of Cleaning Buckets and Hygiene Kits to the warehouses in Conroe and Kerrville via individuals with trailers who donated their time, money and energy to transport the materials.
  • Even with the hundreds and hundreds already sent, Local Churches continue to make cleaning buckets and hygiene kits to replenish supplies in the impacted areas, at our depots and the Sager Brown warehouse. (If you have completed supplies, please continue to coordinate with your closest depot.)
  • Our depot churches at FUMC Hillsboro, Tenth Street UMC (Taylor), LifePoint UMC and FUMC Comanche have received truckloads of materials and helped coordinate their transport. You can deliver buckets and kits to any of our CTC Kit Depots. Here is a list of our Central Texas Conference Kit Depots. It is imperative that you call the contact listed below before dropping off your built kits. 
    • North: LifePoint UMC (12501 US Hwy 287, Fort Worth) - Contact: Bob Hegeman (785-817-5117)
    • Central: Hillsboro FUMC (315 E. Elm, Hillsboro) - Contact: Kim Mays (254-582-2342)
    • South: Tenth Street UMC (410 W. 10th St., Taylor) - Contact: Travis Summerlin (512-352-2244)
    • West: Mini-Depot: Comanche FUMC (217 E. Grand, Comanche) - Contacts: Kevin Morton (325-220-1717) and Sharla Cox (325-356-2120 M-Th 9 a.m.Noon & 1-5 p.m. / Friday 9 a.m-1 p.m.)   
  • FUMC Hurst and White’s Chapel UMC provided Ministry Safe volunteers to work with evacuee children at the shelter in Fort Worth.
  • Genesis UMC provided more than 500 pairs of new underwear, along with new backpacks to evacuees.
  • Several local churches responded to an immediate and urgent request for bedding sets by providing 240 new pillows, sheet sets and blankets for evacuees.
  • Church members across our conference have been in prayer for the survivors of Harvey and those now also impacted by Hurricane Irma
  • Church members across our conference have been in prayer for the survivors of Harvey and those now also impacted by Hurricane Irma

Although the Texas Conference (Houston Episcopal area) has now opened for ERTs to come in and begin to assist, our CTC ERTs will continue to be faithful to the Rio Texas Conference (San Antonio Episcopal area). The Rio Texas churches in Corpus Christi and other gulf coast communities remain the area of greatest need. With the national media attention turning to Hurricane Irma, experts anticipate that the response to the Coastal Bend of Texas will wane considerably. To all those with friends and relatives in the Houston area, be assured that there will be many opportunities in the future to volunteer in the Texas Conference. However, for now and the foreseeable near future, the Rio Texas Conference needs our continued focused support. 

Financial Support is still one of the best ways to support the relief and recovery efforts at this time. Please note that it is important for you to make your check(s) payable to the Central Texas Conference and put Hurricane Relief in the notation area of the check. The CTC Finance team cannot deposit checks made out to UMCOR and has to mail those checks directly to UMCOR which delays your contributions getting to those who need them.

On behalf of the entire Central Texas Conference Disaster Support Team, thank you! We are so grateful – not surprised in the least, but still very grateful – for the tremendous generosity, compassion and faithfulness of the people of the Central Texas Conference towards our neighbors in need.