Two Ways to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims
This has been a tough time for our friends in the Houston area. Dozens of Messianic Jewish families have been flooded out of their homes, while tens of thousands of their neighbors grapple with the same circumstances.
We have watched the daring civilian-led rescue operations that are still underway across the city, and mourned as mothers, children, the elderly, and even a few rescuers have lost their lives to the waters. The flood waters are finally receding, but what’s left in many homes is a foot or more of toxic mud, mold, and destroyed family heirlooms.
The time has come to help our neighbors rebuild. There are two important ways that you can help the victims of Hurricane Harvey right now:
1. Give Online: The Union is closely coordinating with Baruch Hashem Synagogue in Dallas, MJBI, Gateway Church, and JVMI to bring a strategic response on behalf of the Messianic Jewish community to the greater Houston area. Please give online here at umjc.org. Under special instructions, please write “Hurricane.” These funds will be directly distributed to the congregations and teams in the region who can meet the needs of families who have been directly affected.
2. Volunteer: We are coordinating volunteers to serve in three specific areas: Demolition and Repair, Crisis Counseling, and Legal Aid.
- Demolition and Repair: Every home that has taken on water must have all waterlogged surfaces (including floors and drywall) gutted immediately to prevent the growth of toxic black mold. The professional crews that typically handle this task are completely booked after a storm of this magnitude and too expensive for families who lack flood insurance. The Union is organizing teams of volunteers to assist families with this overwhelming task. If you are able and willing to provide this kind of labor to families in need, please sign up.
- Crisis Counseling: The Union is coordinating small teams of licensed counselors to provide free crisis and trauma therapy to Harvey victims. Please sign up to volunteer.
- Legal Aid: the long recovery process includes mountains of paperwork and long battles with insurance companies, federal agencies, and contractors. A recent court order allows out-of-state attorneys to provide pro bono legal aid to Harvey survivors for up to 6 months without a Texas bar license. If you are a licensed attorney, please sign up to provide pro bono legal aid to Harvey victims.