This article, originally posted August 30th, 2017, was updated on September 15, 2017, to include information about Fellowship's relief efforts for Hurricane Irma.
With the recent events of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida, we want to keep you informed on opportunities to serve and how you can help with hurricane relief efforts. Fellowship is exploring the opportunity to send teams to southeast Texas in October for Harvey relief. Specific dates have yet to be determined.
If you are interested in leading a team from Fellowship, please contact Bobby Shriver ( ). Candidates with flexible hearts and previous team-leading and disaster relief experience are preferred. Relief teams can expect to drive down in a church van, remove debris, spray for mold, install new sheetrock, engage in heavy lifting, and work long days in a variety of potentially unsafe conditions.
Please familiarize yourself with Fellowship’s Crisis Response Plan to get a good understanding of the church’s process for getting involved in disaster relief efforts and how church leadership will move forward to determine Fellowship’s role to aid in hurricane relief.
- Pray for the individuals and families directly affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, that God would be their ever-present help in time of great need.
- Pray for safety and protection over everyone involved in relief efforts.
- Pray for wisdom and direction as you determine how you can best help in this situation.
Give to the “Harvey & Irma Hurricane Relief” fund on Fellowship’s website. Donations will support specific churches or organizations directly helping with relief efforts. On the Give page, either log in or give as a guest. Under “Where to Give”, select “Global & Local” from the drop down menu. Then select “Harvey & Irma Hurricane Relief” on the next drop down menu.
Send gift cards from Wal-Mart or Home Depot (suggested amounts of $50 or more). These will be used for Hope Force International team supplies on the field and for homeowners. If you want to include a note of encouragement (“Dear Friend...”, then signed with a name but no personal info) or drawings from children, Hope Force can make sure homeowners get those. All gift cards should be mailed to:
Hope Force International
7065 Moores Lane, Suite 200
Brentwood, TN 37027
At this time, American Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations are assessing how to best respond to the needs of the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. It will be a long process of rehabilitation. As organizations are sending their teams, Fellowship will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation to determine how Fellowship can serve in the most helpful way (see Fellowship’s Crisis Response Plan to understand more about this evaluation process). Details such as a specific Fellowship disaster relief team, dates for a trip, and trip info have not been determined at this time, though we hope to provide an update very soon.
However, if you would like to volunteer individually with a disaster relief team on the ground, here are some current options:
Hope Force International, based in Brentwood, is sending teams of experienced disaster relief volunteers with prior training. They will be sending teams over the next several months. If you would like to volunteer with disaster relief teams from Hope Force for “rapid deployment”, there is a two-day training coming up at the Hope Force office on September 21st-23rd. This qualifies people as Hope Force Reservists, eligible for “rapid deployment.” Training is NOT required to volunteer with a Hope Force International team, though those with prior training will be given priority for upcoming volunteer teams. Information on this training can be found on Hope Force’s website.
Samaritan’s Purse is another option for volunteering for disaster relief efforts. Samaritan’s Purse is sending teams who can commit to staying at least three or more days to coastal areas of Texas or Naples, Florida. Visit Samaritan’s Purse website for more information and how to volunteer.
As the relief efforts become more clear, information may change. Please continue to pray as we seek to evaluate how to best respond to the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. If you have further questions in the meantime, please contact Bobby Shriver ( ).