Texas Floods: Red Cross, Partners Work Together to Help
Workers from the Southern Baptist Kitchen prepare hot meals for families affected by the flooding in Texas. Red Cross volunteers then deliver these meals in neighborhoods where floodwaters have damaged homes and displaced families. Photo by Jill Mercado / American Red Cross.
Kristin O’Hare takes care of little Blaze Crawford as his mom gets help from the Red Cross in Horseshow Bend, TX. Photo by Wendy Settle / American Red Cross
Paige Papillion, whose family was displaced by the rising flood waters, spent several nights at an Red Cross shelter with her mother and little sister. In the past week, as the Brazos River overflowed its banks, the Red Cross opened shelters along the Gulf Coast of Texas. Photo by Lauralee Veitch / American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross continues to help people in Texas affected by the latest devastating flooding while preparing to respond in Florida as Tropical Storm Colin nears with strong winds and heavy rain.
In Texas, hundreds of Red Cross volunteers from all over the country are operating or supporting 14 shelters, providing meals, helping assess the damage and distributing relief supplies. Multiple Red Cross emergency response vehicles are moving through the affected areas, handing out meals and relief supplies.
Red Cross mental health workers are helping people cope, many of whom have been hit with flood damage more than once. Health workers are assisting with minor first aid needs and helping replace things like lost medications and eyeglasses. Red Cross caseworkers are meeting with families one-on-one to help them get the help they need.
SOUTHERN BAPTIST PARTNERS FEEDING THOUSANDS
The Red Cross is working with various partners in Texas to make sure people get the help they need. One of those partners is the Texas Baptist Men, a feeding unit of the Southern Baptist Disaster Kitchen.
When the storms and flooding began devastating entire neighborhoods in Texas, the Red Cross reached out to their partner and the wheels were put into motion for the Southern Baptist Disaster Kitchen to help.
In less than a day, specialty-equipped trailers rolled into Conroe and quickly transformed the parking lot of the West Conroe Church into an outdoor kitchen, complete with ovens, large kettles and all the implements needed to prepare thousands of meals. Every day the volunteers at the Southern Baptist Disaster Kitchen prepare hot meals for lunch and dinner. The food is loaded into Red Cross emergency response vehicles to be delivered to families in need.
“Our specialty is feeding,” explains Gary Finley, Director of the West Conroe Church Feeding Unit of the Southern Baptist Disaster Kitchen. Finley and Terry Henderson, state director for the Texas Baptist Men, were on site at the kitchen while volunteers busily prepared chicken and rice for dinner. Just like the Red Cross, Southern Baptist Disaster Kitchens rely on volunteers for all aspects of their operation.
“I used to be an Air Traffic Controller,” commented Finley, a grandfather of four. “When Hurricane Allison hit I started thinking about how I could help others. Once I retired, I started volunteering.”
Henderson, a retired fire fighter, reflected on what it’s like to do this type of work. “When we’re in the middle of it we are moving so quickly we don’t think too much about what’s happening,” he said. “But when I leave, it hits me. These residents are going through so much; I’m grateful we can help.”
The Red Cross needs the public’s help now. You can help people affected by the Texas Floods and Tornadoes by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word TXFLOODS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Texas Floods and Tornadoes will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from these disasters.
Another way people can help is to become a Red Cross volunteer. The donated time and talent of a Red Cross volunteer can make a real difference in people’s lives. Go to redcross.org to learn more about volunteer opportunities and how to submit a volunteer application.
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.