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9-5-17 The Southwestern Union Responds to Hurricane Harvey
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Southwestern Union Conference Reports on Hurricane Harvey Damage, Relief Efforts
 
The Southwestern Union, Southwest Region Conference, Texas Conference, and North American Division are working closely with pastors, teachers, volunteers, and members who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. We are humbled and grateful for the prayers, words of encouragement, and offers of help that have been coming from across the country.
 
Although Harvey made its initial landfall one week ago, the scope of the damage caused by 100+ mph winds and nearly 50 inches of continuous rain and dangerous flood conditions have made it difficult to assess damages to homes, churches, and schools. Life-saving activities continue to be ongoing and we pray for the safety, peace, and comfort of all who have been affected.
 
Adventist Community Services (ACS) personnel and volunteers are prepared to mobilize to the affected area once the situation stabilizes and state officials authorize entrance. 
 

What We Know

Approximately 60 counties in Texas were affected to varying degrees by flooding, wind damage, and tornadoes caused by Hurricane Harvey. The area, which spans approximately 300 miles along the Gulf Coast, includes six Seventh-day Adventist schools and 90 Seventh-day Adventist churches and companies with a total Adventist membership of 17,838. We are monitoring the effects of the storm in Louisiana and the extent of damage is not yet clear as of Sept. 1, 2017. While details are still coming in, the following schools and churches have reported damage: 
 
Southwest Region Conference
Schools:
         Excel Adventist Academy in Missouri City, Texas
Churches:
           World Harvest Outreach Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Houston, Texas
           Sugar Land Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
           Hebron Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
           Mount Olive Seventh-day Adventist Church in Port Arthur, Texas
           Emmanuel Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church in Beaumont, Texas
One pastor was affected by property loss caused by the storm.
 
Texas Conference
Schools:
           Triangle Adventist Christian School in Groves, Texas
           The Oaks Adventist Christian School in Cypress, Texas
Churches:
            Baytown Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Baytown, Texas
            Huntsville Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Company in Huntsville, Texas
            Houston International Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
            Houston Spanish Alief Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
            Houston Spanish Southaven Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
            Houston Spanish West Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
            Houston West Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
            Houston Gulfhaven Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
Seven pastors and three teachers were affected by property loss caused by the storm.
 

If You Want to Help
 
Donations
Right now, the best way to help is with a monetary donation. Consider making a donation to the following:
            Adventist Community Services at www.AdventistCommunityServices.org
            Southwest Region Conference ACS-Hurricane Harvey: https://goo.gl/bUrFc9
            Texas Conference ACS-Hurricane Harvey: https://goo.gl/nhLXvw
 
Groups
Many groups have expressed a desire to come to the affected area to assist in cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Currently the best place for groups to volunteer is with Adventist Community Services. Contact Southwest Region Adventist Community Services at 469.987.5366, and Texas Adventist Community Services at acs@txsda.org.
 
Individuals
Many volunteers who have access to flat-bottom boats and amphibious vehicles have participated in search and rescue operations. Anyone interested in these activities should thoughtfully consider the needs and resources available in the affected area and should contact the city and/or county officials of the desired area of service prior to travel.
 
Offering Opportunities
North American Division Offering: On Sept. 9, 2017, churches across the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will collect a special offering to support the relief efforts of Adventist Community Services (ACS) after millions in Texas and Louisiana were impacted by the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey. On Sept. 9, please remember to mark your offering “ACS - Hurricane Relief.”
 
Partnership Opportunities
Many churches and schools have asked what they can do to help. The Southwestern Union is creating church and school partnerships, adopt-a-classroom opportunities, and other fundraising projects. If you would like to partner with an affected school or church, or hold a fundraiser, please email Southwestern Union Communication Director Jessica Lozano at jlozano@swuc.org.


Southwest Region Conference ACS Activities
 
Distribution Center: The World Harvest Church in Houston, Texas, is an 1,800-member church led by Pastor Keith Goodman, which is open as an ACS distribution center. Approximately 120 volunteers have been assisting with setting up the center, and student volunteers from Southwestern Adventist University and Oakwood University, along with many other volunteers, will be assisting with this continuing effort.
 
Lone Star Camp: Approximately 160 people are currently sheltered at Lone Star Camp in Athens, Texas, which is operated by the Southwest Region Conference. The Texas Adventist Book Center in Keene, Texas, has committed to providing food and resources as needed.
 
Volunteer Opportunities: Call the Southwest Region Adventist Community Services Department at 469.987.53661 to determine current needs and opportunities. Visit www.MySouthwestRegion.org for the latest updates.
 

Texas Conference ACS Activities
 
Mobile Distribution Unit: Texas Adventist Community Services’ Mobile Distribution Unit (MDU) was dispatched to San Antonio on Tuesday, Aug. 29, where volunteers distributed care items to survivors in shelters. The MDU then made its way south to Rockport, Texas, and is currently in Victoria, Texas.
 
Donations Center: Volunteers at the Texas ACS donations center in Keene, Texas, are actively preparing cleanup buckets, hygiene kits, complete clothing outfits, and other donations.
 
Volunteer Opportunities: Email the Texas Adventist Community Services Department at acs@txsda.org to determine current needs and opportunities. Visit
www.TexasAdventist.org for the latest updates.
 

Southwestern Adventist University Response
 
Disaster Relief Kits: Southwestern Adventist University is partnering with ACS to raise funds and assemble disaster relief kits. Monetary donations are most needed to fund this project. SWAU is fundraising with a goal of $10,000 for the kits.
 
Distribution Center: Students and faculty are volunteering at the Keene, Texas, distribution center. On August 30, more than 50 students and faculty helped load an ACS semi-truck headed for the Houston area with supplies. They, along with other volunteers, will continue to assist with sorting and packing donations.
 
The Oaks Adventist Christian School Cleanup: A group of students and faculty traveled to The Oaks Adventist Christian School on Sept. 2 to help begin repairs. The school sustained damage due to flooding. James Friesen, principal at The Oaks, is leading the organization from there.
 
Sock and Underwear Drive: The Southwestern Enactus team has partnered with a local charity to provide supplies for displaced families relocating near the university. The Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church choir is helping to collect donations, and boxes for collections are being placed in the community.
 
 
Who to Contact
 
Southwest Region Adventist Community Services: 469.987.5366, MySouthwestRegion.org
 
Texas Conference Adventist Community Services: acs@txsda.org, TexasAdventist.org
 
Lone Star Camp: 719.367.2113, LoneStarCamp.org
 
Partnership/Fundraising Inquiries: jlozano@swuc.org

— This report was prepared by the Southwestern Union Conference Communication Department.

 
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
9705 Patuxent Woods Drive
Columbia, MD 21046-1565 USA
Telephone: 443-391-7200
Fax: 443-391-
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