Red Cross Relies on Partners during Flood Response
Harvest Time Church Joins Forces in Red Cross Response to Houston Floods
Since the start of 2016, the American Red Cross has responded to a rare spate of massive floods and storms that have upended thousands of lives across Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Missouri. The Red Cross draws upon the strength of its volunteers and partners to reach those in need.
Some of the national partners helping during the flooding response include Harvest Time Church, Islamic Relief USA; Southern Baptist Convention, Salvation Army, Walmart, All Hands Volunteers, Alpha Kappa Psi, AmeriCorps, Buddhist Tzu Chi, Children’s Disaster Services, NAACP, National Baptists Convention of America and Lott Carey, National Association for Latino Elected Officials, NBC USA, Operation Hope, Portlight and Save The Children.
These partners help with things like access and functional needs, clean up and debris removal, casework, emotional care, sheltering, spiritual care, warehousing, volunteering and other disaster functions. To address urgent needs, nearly 9,000 Red Cross workers—about 90 percent volunteers—sprang into action to offer shelter, food and comfort in hard-hit communities.
Harvest Time Church Lends A Hand
Under the leadership of Bishop Shelton Bady, the congregation of Harvest Time Church in Houston has taken its ministry to greater lengths in its outreach to the surrounding communities devastated by the continuing floods.
“The needs here are great,” said Bady, a longtime Houston resident and Red Cross volunteer. “In a city as large as Houston, we truly rely upon the goodwill of our neighbors, our churches and other organizations like the Red Cross to be there when we need each other most. This past week alone and with the help of the Red Cross, we’ve touched several thousand people in need, yet there’s still so much more to be done.”
This spring, torrential and prolonged downpours have caused severe flooding in the Houston metropolitan area. Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a state of disaster for several counties recently, with 3 million residents in the impacted region. More than 100,000 homes lost power, and an additional 1,000 homes were flooded in Harris County.
“It’s an unusually tough time of response, particularly in areas that are already disadvantaged,” continued Bady. “These are families who were already struggling, already needing food, already late with rent. So to get these families back on solid ground – literally – it requires greater resources than typical.”
But Bishop Bady is no stranger to serving the community beyond the doors of his church. Each year, he and his congregation offer support to scores of families, whether members of his own congregation or residents in surrounding communities.
Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Regional CEO, Steve Vetrano, has been on the front lines of disaster response and sees the value that volunteers like Bishop Bady and his congregation bring to the community.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the volunteerism and community support we have in Bishop Bady and Harvest Time Church,” said Vetrano. “During times of emergency and disaster, our greatest resources are found in the communities we serve – the volunteers who willingly roll up their sleeves to help us provide aid to those who need it most.”
For the latest updates on Red Cross local response to the Houston floods, including a list of local Red Cross shelters and information on how you can support, click here.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.