The holiday season is a wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a stressful time of the year. Our losses are often felt the deepest during the holidays and we can feel overwhelmed.
For those who lost their homes either temporarily or permanently as a result of Hurricane Harvey, this holiday season has the potential to be extremely stressful and sad. There is potential to even “miss” Christmas this year.
So, just how do we avoid missing Christmas and still get everything completed on our insane to-do lists? How do we avoid feeling angry when we hear of our friends decorating their Christmas tree while we are grieving the loss of all our special ornaments? How do we find time or the money to buy Christmas gifts when we are struggling to pay for home repairs?
Perhaps the answer to these questions is simply “Don’t miss Christmas.” John 3:16 tells us “ For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” God invaded the pain and emptiness of our lives when He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world. Our greatest need in the midst of our brokenness, chaos, grief, stress and heartache is Jesus.
There is a list of practical tips at the end of this note to help you during the holidays. However, the following is a prayer that you might consider praying daily to help you receive what our hearts need the most.
Father, thank you for sending Jesus to rescue me and give me a new life. I confess my need for you, your love, your grace and your healing. You know that I feel overwhelmed, sad, afraid and weary. I need you to invade my brokenness with your presence. I need your love, your peace, your truth to reign in my heart and mind. I don’t want to miss seeing you at work in my life and in those around me. I don’t want to miss Christmas this year or this day. I want to receive your love and trust you for all things.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest “ (Matthew 11:28).
TIPS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Look to Jesus
• Spend time daily in prayer, reading the Bible and thanking God for His presence in your life.
• Listen to your favorite worship music.
• Take a walk and talk to Jesus. Tell Him how you feel and allow Him to comfort you.
• Expect things to be different this holiday season and avoid comparing to previous holidays.
• Expect grief to come and remember it’s okay to grieve.
• Expect to have moments that are good and moments that are difficult.
• Talk with family and friends about the holidays ahead of time.
• Be flexible – have a plan B.
• Express your needs and listen to the needs of others.
• Discuss what traditions you will observe this year and what will be different this year.
• Shop on-line for gifts and simplify your gift list.
Express your feelings
• Talk to your family, friends and God about how you feel.
• It’s okay to feel angry and sad but invite God into your emotions so that He can comfort you.
• Journaling and exercising are a couple of ways to express feelings.
• Allow God to move you from feeling overwhelmed to peaceful, from feeling sad to comforted, from feeling alone to deeply loved.
• Get proper rest/sleep.
• Moderation is key.
• Avoid over eating, too much caffeine and too many sweets.
• Drink lot of water.
• Set boundaries.
• Take time to spend with friends/family.
• Take your focus off your loss.
• Bless those around you.
• Include your family as you help others.
• Pray for others.
• Encourage others by sharing how God is helping you.
Count your Blessings
• Take time to thank God for His provision.
• Take a walk or sit outside and thank God for His creation.
• Make a gratitude list.
• Invite your family to make a gratitude list.
Free holiday meal to anyone in the Katy area who is in need, anyone who has been displaced by Hurricane Harvey or anyone who is serving those who have been displaced in Katy!
Holy Covenant United Methodist Church
22111 Morton Ranch Road
Katy, TX 77449
Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd
11:00 AM till 1:00 PM
PLEASE PRE-ORDER MEALS BY CALLING
Rhonda at 281-384-0288
Margaret (Spanish) at 281-391-9758
Donations of new blankets, gently used coats, nonperishable food items, diapers and children’s books will also be available.
Clothed by Faith will be on site to help address any clothing needs.
Supported by local Katy churches, businesses, and organizations.
Trees of Hope seeks Christmas trees for Harvey families.
Hi there! I’m a local mom wanting to help with the next stage of rebuilding in our wonderful community. I’ve recently launched a donations campaign called “Trees of Hope” to collect new, pre-lit, 4 and 6ft Christmas trees for distribution to families who lost their own during Harvey. Log on to our Facebook hub where you can find out more. Our donations deadline is November 16th in order to make the trees available on Friday, November 17th, so that people can decorate over Thanksgiving.
We’ve already experienced incredible generosity but the demand outweighs the supply so more 6ft trees are urgently needed.
If you would like to get involved you can purchase a tree in one of three ways:
1. Via our Trees of Hope Walmart Wishlist.
2. Via a donation through paypal email: email@example.com
3. Or you can purchase one from any good retailer and send to:
Trees of Hope
3723 Victory Terrace Lane
Katy, Texas 77450
In addition to being able to give out trees, local artist, Liliana Delgado, has designed a beautiful, one-off work which we’re able to turn into greetings cards, the James Williams Elementary ‘Read, Deed and Run’ program is making ornaments and we have 100 hand-crochet stars arriving from Bastrop, Texas where one family lost their Christmas in the fires of 2011. All these items will be packaged for delivery together with the trees.
Our local yummy bakery, Proud Pie has generously donated four gift cards for a prize draw. Anyone who purchases a tree will automatically be entered and the winners will be announced on November 18th!
We want to thank you in advance for your support!
Please email us at Trees of Hope Katy for additional information or if you lost your tree this year and would like a Tree of Hope, we will gladly help!
A free Harvey Financial Recovery Boot Camp will be held at the University of Houston. Come hear from Mattress Mack and multiple experts in various fields.
When | 8:30 AM — 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 11, 2017
Registration | 8:00 AM — 8:30 AM (Attendees are encouraged to pre-register as space is limited)
Where | This free Boot Camp will be held at Cemo Hall on the main campus of University of Houston located at 4746 Calhoun Road.
The piles of debris have been largely removed. However what it has left behind is small pieces of insulation, nails, etc. We are calling for volunteers to help neighbors clean their yards, driveways, and curbs of small debris. This may seem like a small thing but it would go a long way to helping our neighborhood look and feel more normal.
Volunteers should meet on Saturday, October 21, at…
Bear Creek Elementary
4815 Hickory Downs Dr.
Houston, Texas 77084
Volunteers should wear sturdy shoes and bring their own work gloves. Please note that this is not a good working environment for young children. For more information, please email Jeanie Borawski or call her at 281.932.1849.
The Harvey Houston Recovery Project was founded to help homeowners rebuild through volunteer efforts and community support.
• Anyone not covered by flood insurance is eligible for reconstruction assistance.
• The reconstruction process is managed by a skilled volunteer project manager.
• The overall cost of repairs are estimated up front before reconstruction begins.
• Homeowners are provided with an allowance for materials to help further lower reconstruction costs.
By leveraging trained volunteers and trusted contractors, The HHR Project can significantly lower the cost of reconstruction. While we wish we could cover the complete cost of reconstruction for all impacted homeowners, the needs of our area are just too great for that to be possible. In addition to providing skilled labor, our organization hopes to offer a material allowance for the homeowners we assist.
Learn more about the HHR Drywall Trade Skills Training workshops offered in October.
Do for one what you wish you could do for all. No volunteer effort is too small or too great. Regardless of whether you volunteer for an hour or make a commitment over multiple events. Your time commitment is extremely valuable to us. For out of town groups, we can provide lodging for groups of up to 20. Accommodations include bunks, showers, and full kitchen on site. Visit the HHR Volunteer page to sign up to serve.
Also, please visit our Group Volunteers sign–up page. Contact Kristina Bozoarth at 314.625.8356 for more information.
Katy Christian Ministries is in need of bilingual volunteers to help us serve the large number of families that are in need of resources and assistance. Even if you have just four hours a week that you could invest in serving, your help will make a difference!
For more information on volunteering at KCM, please contact:
Director of Operations and Community Relations
The Bear Creek Village area has over 1,100 of its 1,400 homes flooded and most unliveable. We are still in the process of clearing and tearing out homes so they can be sprayed for mold and begin drying out for rebuild.
A large community stop and shop will take place this Saturday at Bear Creek Elementary, a Katy ISD school. Below is a supply list for items that we are looking for to assist the residents. This area has had no large scale support – just help from local people and churches.
Community Stop and Shop
Bear Creek Elementary
4815 Hickory Downs Dr, Houston, TX 77084
Every Saturday thru October 21
9:00 AM – Noon
Donation and Pick-Up Time
Amazon wish list is here.
SUPPLIES NEEDED as of October 15, 2017
• Body Wash
Household replenish needs
• Shower curtains
• Kitchen dishes, cookware, silverware
• Mattresses –queen or twin
• Pots and Pans, cookie sheets
• Pet food and Cat Litter
• Laundry Detergent and Softener
• Liquid Cleaners, disinfecting wipes
• Storage Bins
• Diapers(size 4-6) and Pull ups, all sizes
• Paper Towels and Toilet Paper
• New in package underwear, socks and bras are needed in all sizes.
If you can help, please contact Jeanie with Bear Creek Clean Up at 281.932.1849 or BCVRelief@gmail.com.
To say the past month has been a blur would be an understatement. The days on my calendar started to melt together as soon as Hurricane Harvey passed through and left destruction in its wake. And yet, in spite of the long days of fielding dozens of disaster-related phone calls and hundreds of emails a day, the past month has illustrated what it is that Christ-followers do best.
I love Jesus and I love my neighbors and our community. One of the hallmarks of Jesus’ life is that He always moved in the direction of people in need — and, by so doing, made a difference in their lives. As soon as Harvey hit our area our Katy churches followed the example of Jesus and swiftly moved in the direction of people in need.
From the early days when I had the opportunity to assist with boat rescues to coordinating lots of disaster related work and connecting resources with need, the most obvious take away is this — good and selfless neighboring is What makes America great and what shows a hurting community the beauty of Jesus.
Did we do a lot of good? Absolutely! Did we get everything right? No. As with all major initiatives that serve thousands in times of crisis, there are always things we miss. And there are always things we wish we could fix with just a wave of the hand. But, that’s not how things work in times of crisis. It really is hard work meeting needs.
Rescuing folks stranded in their homes by boat, for example, took hours rather than minutes per household. The same holds true for mucking out homes and distributing clothing and other supplies and feeding people and more. Volunteers worked countless — and I do mean way too many hours to count — hours helping folks in need in so many ways. But because they did, needs were met one by one.
It’s been weeks and the work is still not over yet. Teams are still mucking out homes, trash piles are being slowly addressed, people are waiting on insurance and federal resources to start the rebuilding process, resources are still being distributed, people who lost vehicles are trying to figure out transportation, and so much more. But, the day will come when everyone impacted by Harvey will look back on all this and finally breathe a sigh of relief.
And the day will come when folks look back on all of this and remember those who moved in their direction at their time of need — the guys in the boat, the muck-out crews, the volunteers who distributed clothing and food, to name a few. Hopefully we will all remember what united us and refuse to make room in our hearts for the things that tend to separate us.
I am proud of our churches, the non-profits in our community, and all of the good people who lived out the parable of the Good Samaritan. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr, we all witnessed dangerous unselfishness on display. Like the Good Samaritan, folks asked the right question, “What will happen to that person in need if I fail to move in their direction to help.”
Grace Fellowship stands ready to provide housing for out-of-town work crews seeking to volunteer for Harvey relief and recovery in West Houston and Katy areas. On a first-come/first-serve basis we can house up to 80 people in designated rooms (divided for the genders).
At present, bring air mattresses or cots, but we are working on building bunk beds. We have basic kitchen facilities (warming kitchen only – no stovetop), a dining area (that doubles as a meeting area), and both men’s and women’s shower facilities.
After you have coordinated your specific project, contact us to schedule housing for your group at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note that we are offering housing only – not meal service or the work projects themselves.
Grace Fellowship UMC
2655 South Mason Road
Katy, TX 77450
We are praying for all of our Fellowship Families and the Katy community. Please let us know if you need assistance or if you are able to help those in distress.
URGENT DONATIONS NEEDED TO RELIEF EFFORTS
Please deliver these items to:
22765 Westheimer Parkway
Katy, Texas 77450
We are ONLY accepting the following at this time:
• 4’ x 8’ x 1/2” Sheetrock Need Donation Lots of 20 sheets, standard and mold resistant
• Soquete Sheet Rock Mud or Joint Compound 18lb-25lb 45 or 90 minute variety
• R13 or R19 Batt Insulation for 16 inch center studs
• Pre-hung interior doors 24″, 30”, 32” and 36”
• Standard refrigerators
• Standard size stoves
• Standard size dishwashers
• Range Tops – gas and electric
A FEMA Public Assistance Applicant Briefing will be held on Friday September 22 at 9:00 AM at the Fort Bend County Annex 4520 Reading Rd. Rosenberg, Texas.
The Public Assistance program makes funds available to repair damages and reimburse applicants for eligible costs associated with certain disaster-related activities. Applicants include cities, counties, special utility districts, and school districts.
You must apply for Public Assistance using the Request for Public Assistance (RPA) and submit it to email@example.com
Proud Pie is serving gourmet free hot meals at Grace Fellowship on September 14 and 15!
Join us tonight (September 14) and Friday (September 15) from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM in the Grace Fellowship parking lot next to Mason Road. Look for the Proud Pie truck and our CIA trailer, umbrellas, and picnic tables.
Note from Proud Pie:
The Proud Pie Truck will be turning into The Proud Meals truck this week! We still have Hurricane Harvey Donation dollars from friends and family left to spend, so we decided to use it to cook hot dinners for those affected by the storm and the wonderful folks who have helped them.
This Thursday and Friday night we will be serving 200 hot dinners to any displaced families that could use a hot meal, folks who have volunteered to help others in need and also our incredible first-responders. We are partnering with the Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church and you can find us in their Youth Building Parking Lot at 2655 S. Mason Road.
Also 10% of Proud Pie sales for the next few weeks will go to hopefully continue these meals into next week as well.
If you are able to donate to our Operation Proud Meals cause, please visit our website and find the Operation Proud Meals tab.
Because more than 6,000 homes in the Katy area sustained flood damage, mud-out crews have been working non-stop to help homeowners. With a backlog of hundreds of homes, it may be a while before help comes your way. So, don’t wait for help to arrive. There are some things you can do to mitigate the damage to your home. The infographic below offers some general guidelines to help you get started. For more detailed information, read If My Home Floods.
FEMA/SBA opened a new disaster recovery location in Katy:
Katy Mills Mall (Harris County)
5000 Katy Mills Circle
Katy TX 77494
Hours: Daily from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM
FEMA representatives are available to assist you in completing your application.
If possible, homeowners, renters and businesses should register with FEMA before visiting a recovery center. Eligible residents may register for assistance the following ways:
- Online at DisasterAssistance.gov.
- Phone 800-621-3362 (voice, 711/VRS-Video Relay Service) (TTY: 800-462-7585). Multilingual operators are available (press 2 for Spanish).
- Via the FEMA app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices. To download visit: fema.gov/mobile-app
The following information is helpful when registering:
- Address of the location where the damage occurred (pre-disaster address).
- Current mailing address.
- Current telephone number.
- Insurance information.
- Total household annual income.
- Routing and account number for checking or savings account (this allows FEMA to directly transfer disaster assistance funds into a bank account).
- A description of disaster-caused damage and losses.
FEMA has a hotline (and an email address): https://www.disasterassistance.gov/help/contact-us as well as an app for your phone: https://www.fema.gov/
Information about disaster relief SBA loans (not just for business owners) is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/FactSheetHomeownersRenters
Katy Christian Ministries is in urgent need of primarily male volunteers to help in our store at 9:00 AM, and also around 8:00 PM, Tuesday September 12. At 9:00 AM we need help loading inventory into trucks and unloading at a storage location. At 8:00 PM, we have a large shipment of donations arriving and we need volunteers to help with the unloading. This shouldn’t take too long if we have enough hands. If you can help, please contact Kristina.Albright@ktcm.org or just show up at 5510 First Street in Katy. The 8:00 PM delivery will be made to 5504 First Street (next door to the store).
Urgent Food Pantry Needs
• Peanut Butter
• canned mixed veggies / corn
• canned green veggies
• canned beans
• canned fruit
• canned meat: tuna, chicken, spam, etc
• canned soup
• canned tomato products
• white rice (1lb bags)
• dried pinto beans (1lb bags)
• mac & cheese
• paper/plastic grocery sacks
KCM has been severely impacted by hurricane Harvey, suffering loss of equipment, office furniture, supplies, inventory in the Resale Store, and loss of revenue from the sales at the KCM Resale Store that supports the work of KCM. Despite our losses, we continue to meet the needs of the community as we are displaced and working to rebuild our facilities. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to KCM for operational support. Visit us at www.ktcm.org.
FEMA Disaster Recovery Center Locator
The Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) Locator allows individuals to search for DRCs nearest to their location. DRC Locator also provides additional information about each DRC, such as hours of operation, services offered, and driving directions to the DRC.
Fort Bend Disaster Recovery Centers
A Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is a facility or mobile office that applicants who have applied for FEMA assistance can go to ask question related to their case.
Debris Removal Information for Fort Bend County
Very important information. Read carefully to prepare for debris pickup.
Although the sun is shining and all looks well in Katy, thousands of families continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Many of our local subdivisions look like war zones with debris flanking streets and volunteers working like ants to clean out homes damaged by flood waters. In locations around our community, hundreds of volunteers continue to work at donation drop-off and pick-up locations. The destruction of Harvey unwittingly became the canvas on which the beauty of Jesus continues to be displayed.
Clothed By Faith is just one of many local non-profits that has done an amazing job of helping families that had to evacuate their homes with only a few articles of clothing stuffed into trash bags. Abi Morton, the founder of CBF, and her army of volunteers have served a total of 5,883 of our neighbors over the past nine days. Providing an organized shopping experience, those in need of clothing can get the help they need in a compassionate and dignified way. Because volunteers have worked tirelessly since the storm, they will take Monday as a day of rest.
Clothed By Faith will be open to serve the community at their pop-up store location at Crosspoint Church from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM on Tuesday through Thursday and from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Saturday. If you are interested in volunteering, please go to the Clothed By Faith site to register.
Thank you Abi. You and your staff have done an amazing job of leading volunteers to love and serve the people of our community. Clothed By Faith is indeed a Katy treasure.
Kingsland Baptist Church is serving as one of several command posts for the relief efforts by the Texas Baptist Men. Crews are arriving daily from around the country to assist those whose homes sustained flood damage. The TBM mud-out crews are trained to assess damage and to remove and dispose of sheetrock, insulation, flooring, cabinets, damaged appliances, and other flood related concerns. The TBM also have chain saw teams on site as well as shower and laundry units. Several TBM teams that are specifically trained in food preparation are cooking 10,000 meals a day for distribution by the Red Cross.
The photo above is of the southeast parking lot at Kingsland Baptist Church. The three building in the center are shared by the Texas Baptist Men and the Red Cross. The building to the at right is our box pick-up location. Homeowners may come by to pick up boxes, packing paper, and packing tape. To date the TBM have given away more than 10,000 boxes.
A few of the many Red Cross meal delivery vehicles are at the top of the pic next to the eighteen-wheeler trailers that ferry in supplies. The feeding kitchen tents are just above the modular buildings. Quite an amazing operation to see meals prepared here. We are grateful for all of the men and women who serve with the Texas Baptist Men and the Red Cross.
The Sundance Memory Care Communities are offering the following help to families displaced by Harvey.
• Free Day Respite Care for any elder living with a form of dementia.
• For a long term stay, waived community fee upon move-in.
For more information and a tour, please call: 281-347-4450
In the wake of Harvey, Special Pals Animal Shelter in Katy is offering several services for animals and their families after the storm.
Special Pals is located at 3830 Greenhouse Road, Houston TX 77084. The shelter is open Tuesday thru Thursday 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Friday 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, and Saturday and Sunday 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
If you need food or supplies for your animals, please stop by Special Pals during open hours. The Katy community has been unbelievably generous and Special Pals has plenty of pet food, bedding, and other supplies to share to those in need.
Special Pals has space to board dogs that need temporary housing while their families recover from damages caused by Harvey. Please email Special Pals or stop by the shelter to get more information about emergency relief boarding for dogs.
LOST & FOUND PETS
Since the storm began, Special Pals has taken in about 25 animals that did not have microchips or ID tags. Special Pals is committed to keeping these guys close by to make it easier for families to reunite. If you are missing your family member, please come see if they may be at the shelter.
The folks at Katy, TX Lost and Found Pets are working around the clock to post photos of lost and found pets to their Facebook page.
Best Friends Animal Society, a national no-kill organization, has partnered with Austin Pets Alive and several local organizations to set up a mobile command center at Montgomery County Fair Grounds. They have reunited hundreds of animals with their families, and volunteers are caring for more at the fair grounds. Visit the Best Friends Animal Society website for more information.
Keep in touch with Special Pals on their Facebook page for updates on volunteer opportunities and needs. Their supply cabinets are overflowing with food, but cleaning supplies and storage containers are still in need. Check out their Harvey recovery Amazon wish list for suggestions.
More about Special Pals: Founded in 1979 and located in Katy since the 1990s, Special Pals is Houston’s longest-running no-kill animal shelter. Special Pals is committed to making a measurable and sustainable difference for animals in the Greater Houston community by offering affordable pet care services; rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming companion animals; and providing education about responsible pet ownership. Visit Special Pals Animal Shelter for more information and how you can help.
Crosspoint Church is currently in need of the following items to replenish their supply for the care packages that they are assembling and giving to victims of the flooding. If you can donate any of these items, please bring them by Crosspoint between the hours of 10:AM and 4:00 PM through Saturday. Crosspoint is located at 700 Westgreen Blvd in Katy.
• Canned chicken
• Peanut butter
• Pasta sauce
• Shelf milk
• Protein bars
• Snack foods
• Canned beans
• Canned chili
• Cleaning supplies
• School supplies
• Personal hygiene products (shampoo, body wash, deodorant, etc.)
The Baker Botts group has put together a helpful guide for those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The Harvey Crisis Response Guide covers a broad variety of topics such as how to file flood claims, renters’ rights, how to replace important documents that may have been lost or damaged in the storm, information about schools and small business administration loans, and tops to avoid home repair fraud. It also contains a broad list of other resources and includes contact information for them.
Eyes On Me, Inc. also known as Hip Hop Hope is looking for volunteers to help sort out supplies at our Harvey relief distribution center in Brookshire, Texas.
Operating hours for the week of September 11-15 are 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Eyes On Me
4010 4th Street
Brookshire, TX 77423
Contact: Dennis at 832-818-6271 or just show up.
The Katy Independent School District has posted a helpful page on Hurricane Harvey Frequently Asked Questions. The district is updating this page regularly so check back often for the latest.
DEBRIS REMOVAL NOTICE for HARRIS COUNTY RESIDENTS
Normal Household Trash
Normal household trash and bagged debris of any kind will not be picked up with disaster debris. You should continue to follow your normal garbage removal schedule.
Vegetative Debris (do not put in bags)
Construction & Demolition Debris
• Building materials
Appliances and White Goods
• Air conditioners
• Dishwashers (taped shut)
• Freezers (food removed, taped shut)
• Refrigerators (food removed, taped shut)
• Stoves (taped shut)
• Washers, dryers (taped shut)
• Water heaters
Electronics • Computers • Radios
Household Hazardous Waste
• Cleaning supplies
• Lawn chemicals
• Oil-based paints and stains
Separate debris into the six categories shown above.
Note: Household Hazardous Waste should be taken to the County’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 6900 Hahl Road for disposal. Please call 281-560-6230 for hours and more information or visit: http://www.eng.hctx.net/Consultants/Household-Hazardous/Household-Hazardous-Waste.
DO NOT STACK OR LEAN
Placing debris near or on trees, poles, or other structures makes removal difficult. This includes fire hydrants and meters.
UNSURE WHERE TO PLACE DEBRIS?
Place debris in the public rights-of-way. If you don’t have a sidewalk, ditch, or utility line in front of your house, place debris no further than 15 feet off the back of curb or edge of pavement. Note: Any debris placed from the sidewalk toward your property will not be picked up.
PRIVATE ROADS, BUSINESS, COMMERCIAL AND LIGHT INDUSTRIAL WASTE
Please check with your respective management companies for disposal options.
The State Bar of Texas legal hotline — (800) 504-7030 — helps people find answers to basic legal questions and connects them with local legal aid providers following declared disasters. The toll-free hotline — answered in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese — is designed to connect low-income people affected by a disaster with legal aid providers in their area who can help with such issues as replacing lost documents, insurance questions, landlord-tenant problems, and consumer protection issues such as price-gouging and avoiding contractor scams in the rebuilding process. Callers can leave a message any time. People who qualify for assistance will be matched with Texas lawyers who have volunteered to provide free, limited legal help.
If you need a lawyer, contact the State Bar’s Lawyer Referral & Information Service at (800) 252-9690 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM on weekdays.
As work continues helping homeowners clean out their damaged homes, we have an urgent need for supplies. Please note that The Fellowship is only accepting the following at this time:
• Medium sized box or round fans for drying homes
• Small gas powered generators (enough to run power tools/5-10 fans)
• Push brooms
• Wheel barrows
• Yard rakes
• Rigid rakes
• Work gloves
• Disposable plastic gloves
• Dust masks (must be N95)
• Mold Spray
• Small pry bars
22765 Westheimer Parkway
Katy, Texas 77450
Fans and buckets with cleaning and construction supplies are available for individuals to pick up on Tuesday, September 5 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at St. Faustina Catholic Church located at 28102 FM 1093 in Fulshear.
We also have teams available to assist with cleaning and recovery. If you need assistance please complete our online form.
UPDATE as of September 18: St. Peter’s is now closed as a disaster response donation / distribution center. If you are in need of a specific item please contact Whitney Peper.
• Cleaning supplies (bleach, Clorox wipes, trash bags, etc.)
• School supplies (must be new)
NOTE: We have shovels and brooms available to homeowners to clean out their damaged homes.
NOTE: At this time, the only clothing donations we can accept are new socks/underwear. We are no longer accepting donations of stuffed animals.
The Latest as of September 5…
St. Pete’s United Methodist Church is open Tuesday September 5 and Wednesday September 6 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM for families in need of toys, games, stuffed animals, books, and other non clothing related children items. These items are located in Asbury Hall.
We are only accepting donations of children’s toys, diapers, cleaning supplies and new school supplies.
** We are not accepting stuffed animals or books **
If you are in need of cleaning supplies please visit St. Peter’s Main office for those items.
For more information please contact Whitney Peper firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Peters UMC
Katy, Texas 77450
Please contact Emily Barnhill with questions related to St. Peter’s flood relief supply distribution.
The Great Southwest Prayer Center has been led to continue in a 21-Day Call to Prayer. We invite you and your congregations to set apart September 6 – 26 for 21 days of prayer.
Nehemiah heard the report of Jerusalem’s ruin. His response, in Nehemiah 1:4, was to weep, mourn, fast, and pray. The Great Southwest Prayer Center’s slice of the pie is to continue in prayer for our community and press in over these 21 days.
Our doors will be open during normal business hours for people to come and go. However, we are offering times of corporate worship and prayer each day from Noon to 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. This is a time for us to come together in prayer as a body. These prayer times will have specific themes of:
• Pure Worship – blessing the name of God.
• Intercession – strategic prayer points over our city, including revival.
• Healing – praying for healing; and ministering to people healing prayer.
We would love a team from your church to partner with us and lead a block of time.
A schedule of the themes for each of the 21 days will be posted at The Great Southwest Prayer Center site on Tuesday, September 5. Please come for 10 minutes or for 2 hours during these 21 days. Let us be as Nehemiah and mourn, weep, fast, and pray — as we also rebuild our city!
The Great Southwest Prayer Center
2655 S. Mason Road
The following warnings are from the Harris County Emergency Services District 48 Fire/EMS.
First | Beware of Scammers
When disasters strike there are always people who will try to take advantage of the generosity of others. We have received numerous reports of people claiming to represent police or fire departments who are requesting monetary donations to assist with rescue operations. After reaching out to area law enforcement and emergency services partners, we have confirmed that there are NO Katy area agencies requesting funds for operational needs from the public at this time.
All of the Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement agencies that serve the Katy area are funded by your tax dollars and much of their disaster response expenditures are likely to be offset by both State and Federal assistance since our area has been officially declared a disaster zone.
Second | Beware of Unscrupulous Contractors
Contractors both legitimate and otherwise are now entering neighborhoods and contacting residents who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey. While soliciting is legal in the unincorporated areas of Harris and Fort Bend Counties, please contact your local law enforcement if the offer does not seem legitimate.
The Texas Attorney General’s website has some great resources to protect yourself from unscrupulous people trying to take advantage of people in need. Here are two pages specifically that are very helpful.
Third | Beware of Animals
We have have been getting a number of inquiries about wild animals who have sought higher ground in peoples yards during the Barker flooding. After consulting with Texas State Game Warden, they have given us the instructions below should you find a wild animal (dead or alive) on or around your property.
• Live animal: If you find a live animal on your property, leave it alone and make it as easy as possible for them to escape on their own. Do not attempt to herd or force the animal to leave the area. If the problem persists for more than 24 hours, you can reach Houston Regional Office at (281) 931-6471.
• Dead Animal: If you find a dead animal on your property or in the road there are a couple of things you can do depending on where you find it. If it is in your yard please do not touch or move it unless its location poses an immediate issue to the safety of your family or pets. If you must move it to a safe place please so carefully and with gloves.
For animals not on a roadway, you may contact Harris County Public Health County operator at (713) 755-5000 to have a team sent out to remove it. If the animal is located on freeways and feeder roads, submit a request to TxDOT. For the Contact Reason, select the drop down: “Road debris/litter/dead animal” or call TXDOT directly at (713) 802-5000. Select Option 1.
The Texas Baptist Men are offering free boxes to any displaced family that needs to pack and move items to prepare for mud-out and cleaning crews. You can pick up boxes at the southeast parking lot at Kingsland Baptist Church. Drive to the large metal building at the back of the property and our teams will give you whatever you need. Our crew will assist you between 8:30 AM and 5:00 PM.
Kingsland Baptist Church
20555 Kingsland Blvd
Katy, Texas 77450
Because all of our mud-out crews are working in intense heat and humidity, we want to make sure we have plenty of Gatorade to keep them hydrated. We need a lot — emphasis on a lot — of Gatorade to take care of those who are here to care for us.
Katy Fellowship is serving as the drop-off center for Gatorade and electrolyte drinks for our first responders and mud-out crews. They are receiving donations from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday through Friday.
24102 Kingsland Boulevard
Katy, TX 77494
The Texas Baptist Men Disaster Relief Team is one of the most highly regarded disaster relief agencies in the world, and with good reason. They have earned this reputation. This organization is on the governor’s speed dial and can mobilize with little notice. Their teams provide assistance to homeowners who have experienced loss due to floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters.
In the case of flooding, teams help homeowners to do mud-out — a general term that refers to boxing up belongings that can be salvaged, cleaning out debris, and removing damaged sheetrock, insulation, and appliances. The Texas Baptist Men also mobilize feeding units, chainsaw crews, and shower and laundry units. They remain on the scene until the work is done. The only thing they leave behind is hope and a reminder that no one has to face tough times alone.
Kingsland Baptist Church is serving as command central for the Texas Baptist Men’s operation in Katy. If you are a homeowner in need of mud-out assistance, please complete the Property Owner’s Request for Assistance and return it to the missions office at Kingsland or email the form to Mary Whittington. It’s ok to take a pic of the form as long as it is legibly clear.
Once the TBM office receives your form, they will assign it to a TBM representative who will visit your home once the water recedes to assess the damage and guide you through the protocols that must be met before a mud-out crew is assigned. Because of the volume of applications we have received, it may be a few days before you receive a phone call to schedule the assessment. And, one the assessment is complete, there will likely be a wait as we work through the cases in our queue. So, please be patient as we are currently serving thousands.
Hurricane Harvey wreaked history-making havoc in the greater Houston area and in our own community of Katy. The days before the storm intensified I was packing to go to Nepal. My flight was scheduled to leave Saturday evening. And then, along came Harvey and changed all my well-laid plans.
As so it was for each of us in Katy. Like an unwanted intruder, Harvey entered into our lives and turned everything upside down. The closer the storm got to the Gulf Coast the longer the lines at the grocery stores. Concerned for the welfare of our families and the possibility of damage to our homes, we were in a frenzy to prepare for the worst while we hoped for the best.
While we pushed our grocery carts between crowded aisles and topped off our gas tanks, one woman was already on a search and rescue mission. My friend Tina Hatcher, the founder of Hope Impacts, is a remarkable lady. Her heart beats for the least of these. She has given her life to do one thing — to care for the homeless in our community. She knows every homeless person in Katy and where they sleep.
I have served at Mother Teresa’s homes in Kolkata many, many times. One thing I admire about Mother Teresa is the simple charge she gave to her Missionaries of Charity. She told them to go to the narrow and filthy alleys, to the dark places, and to look for Jesus. “You will find Him in those places,” she said, “in the distressing disguise of the poor.”
Mother Teresa continued — and when you find Him, do for that person what Jesus would do. Feed them if they are hungry. Give them something to drink. Clothe them. Bind their wounds. Give them shelter. Do for the least of these what you would do for Jesus Himself. That simple charge and her small band of missionaries started an unprecedented revolution of caring in Kolkata, throughout the subcontinent, and beyond.
Tina thinks like Mother Teresa. As the first drops of rain began to fall she forgot about her own needs and drove to those dark and filthy places where Katy’s homeless seek shelter. One by one, she picked them up and brought them to an empty suite at Kingsland’s off-campus office building. The concern on Tina’s face was unmistakable. “There are some who will not come in,” she told me.
And so, like the guy in the Hacksaw Ridge WW2 movie who kept going back into harm’s way to rescue wounded soldiers, Tina went out again and again in search of her homeless friends. And one by one she carried them to safety and made provision for them to be fed and cared for. And then, within hours, our slice of Texas found itself caught in the teeth of a storm. But because of her actions, the homeless in Katy found a safe haven.
Tina’s story is just one of many that need to be told so that our divided nation can reconnect with what really makes America great. Neighbors caring for neighbors, ordinary folks who deployed their fishing boats to rescue others, people opening their homes to take in displaced families, volunteers manning supply distribution locations, and so much more. Thank you to each of you who did your part to move in the direction of people in need.
And Tina, we all thank you. You are indeed a hero to the homeless and a gift to our community. We love you.
Over the coming months we will have many out of town teams serving our community with mud-out initiatives in homes damaged by the flood waters. The two CINCOfit locations in Katy have offered their shower facilities during staffed hours to first-responders, visiting law officers, and out of town clean-up crews.
23010 Highland Knolls Drive, Suite G
28818 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Suite 200
Katy, Texas 77494
Parkway Fellowship is a distribution point for clean-up supplies. Starting Tuesday, September 5th, we will be distributing clean-up supplies from 9:00AM to 1:00 PM, and receiving donations of cleaning supplies from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
NOTE: Parkway Fellowship is accepting the following donations:
• Fans (All Types)
• Heavy duty trash bags
• Plastic bins
• Packing/Shipping Tape
• Box cutters / Sheetrock knives
• Laundry detergent
• Cleaning rags
• Gift Cards (groceries, gas, Lowes / Home Depot)
• Clorox wipes
• Ziplock bags (quart / gallon)
If you have any questions, please call Gary Chevalier at 832.222.9282.
Cornerstone Church [1351 S Mason Rd @ Park York] would like to provide free childcare for those in our community in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. We will also serve lunch to the children and volunteers.
Cornerstone is extending free childcare through Thursday, September 7, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for…
•for those who need to return to work and do not have a place for their children since they will be out of school this week.
To do all this we need Volunteers!
Please prayerfully consider serving during one or more of the time slots offered. Or bring some kid friendly food for us to feed the kids and volunteers.
We are grateful for U.S. Congressman John Culberson of the 7th District of Texas for his visit to the Katy area this afternoon. Ryan Rush, Kingsland Baptist Church senior pastor, and Omar Garcia, Kingsland’s missions pastor, had the privilege of escorting Congressman Culberson and showing him what the Katy area churches have done to love our community. He was visibly moved by the many ways in which our churches and local ministry partners have rallied to move in the direction of those in need. In the course of our visit we received a request for wheelchairs. Mary Schneider, his District Director, made one phone call and this need was met. Thanks John and Mary, for your concern, assistance, and service.