Houston Relief Update

I’ve been in Houston for a week and a half now managing the Hilltop Rescue operations on the ground. We have been VERY busy. There is a lot of need here and we are receiving volunteers. We can use more! The need is real and the work is stacking up. here’s the story.

Hilltop has been on the ground since right after the storm. We surveyed the area and and found a definite need for outside volunteers. The local community has responded amazingly well, but local volunteers are drying up as people get back to their lives after giving days or weeks of their time. The need is greater now for outside volunteers. Between our own requests for help and those going unmet by other relief organizations in the area there are hundreds of work orders to fulfill.

This past weekend, we had 62 volunteers in from Harding University in Searcy Arkansas, Northside Christian Church. in Tulsa, Prestoncrest Church of Christ in Dallas, and Lubbock Christian University. They were awesome workers and amazing people to work with. Some would have been happy working day and night.

We completed 14 jobs mucking houses and clearing downed trees from yards over the weekend as well as getting a lot of small side jobs done for neighbors of those we were working with, or just driving down the street and asking who needs help.

The worst hit areas where we can work are Galveston, San Leon, and Shore Acres. Areas on the Bolivar Peninsula (across the mouth of the bay from Galveston) are still off limits and most homes were completely washed away in those towns. Those areas are marked by yellow and red on this map respectively.

Damage Area

Damage Area

Wind damage to trees covers a much broader area, but is pretty much confined to the Galveston Bay area.

Our operations in Houston are being hosted by the Clear Lake Church of Christ. We are 20 minutes from most of the hardest hit areas. We have 42 real mattresses, 6 showers, plenty of bathrooms, a huge kitchen, and a gym we can use if it isn’t being used for other purposes. We have a pool table, fooseball, and air hockey! We have plenty of tools for volunteers to use in their work, a 15 passenger van, a pickup truck, and two tool trailers to haul tools around in as well. This place rates 4 stars compared to the flooded school buildings, tents, and MASH showers we’ve had in the past. The church has basically turned over the back third of their building, their youth area, to us to use as long as there is a need.

The church has been awesome! The elders and church leadership have been overwhelmingly supportive of our operations to help them reach out to their community and responsibly spend the funds they have collected for the work. This is a place where “real Christians” prevail as the hands and feet of Christ. We are only supplementing what they are doing in their community. The youth group continues to work mucking houses in the area and church members made some fabulous dinners for our volunteers this weekend. I am personally quite impressed with our partners here.

Like the man said “Come on in boys! The water’s fine!”

Servants Unite!

John McGuire



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