Our Plan To Help Hurricane Katrina Victims

Last Thursday I went to the George Brown Convention Center to serve Hurricane Katrina refugees. I helped pack and load portable beds to be sent to other shelters and swept the floor of dining areas.

It seems that the refugees at the Astrodome and the Convention Center are receiving enough attention and care. From now on our church will focus our attention on those refugees who are staying at church-run shelters. These shelters don’t receive financial distributions from the Red Cross or United Way because they are religious organizations.

We will be partnering with the Gano Mission Center (GMC). People who want to help often don’t know how best to help refugees or which shelters have the greatest needs. As a result, the needs of refugees are not met adequately or at the right time. GMC calls church shelters and checks on their status daily. I believe that we can administer to refugees more efficiently by working with GMC.

GMC is an authorized distribution center for refugees. They don’t serve food or give away clothing, but collect and distribute essential items for everyday needs. Volunteers are needed to sort collected items for men, women, and children, package them in individual bags, and deliver them. We will volunteer for that job.

But we can do more. Each week, we will get a list of items refugees need and purchase, package, and deliver them with our own volunteers.

We will also select one church that provides food for refugees and help them prepare and serve meals. Also, medical doctors from our congregation will help give tetanus shots, treat external wounds, prescribe drugs for diarrhea, etc.

We will do our best to help volunteers not waste their time. We will consult with GMC and send no more volunteers than are actually needed and make everything ready for them to work with. Instead of asking for volunteers to work all day, we will divide the time from 9-12 in the morning and 1-4 in the afternoon so that people with busy schedules can serve by taking off only a half day from work.

I encourage all of our members to volunteer to help Hurricane Katrina victims.

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