Houston and Puerto Rico: How to Volunteer

 

 

Updated September 2018:

The Houston Hurricane Relief Ministry is on a brief hiatus that will end on September 30th. Volunteers will once again be needed as of October 1st.

Background:

OPC Disaster Response was mobilized in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, in August and September 2017.

  • Since that time, hurricane relief teams have served continuously in Houston, Texas, except for the current brief haitus.
  • Local hurricane relief efforts were completed in Naples, Florida, and Key West, Florida, by the end of 2017.
  • Puerto Rico presented a different challenge.
    • It took many months for the island's infrastructure - power, water, roads, cell coverage, internet access, etc. - to be restored by local authorities.
    • The Presbytery of New Jersey, to which the OPC churches in Puerto Rico OPC belong, has kept in close touch with the churches and made several visits.
    • In the spring of 2018, the first hurricane relief team was organized and sent to Puerto Rico to help churches and homeowners.
    • Currently, teams are being organized to go starting in October.

Leadership:

Denominational: 

  • David Nakhla, OPC Disaster Response Coordinator, has been overseeing OPC relief efforts from the OPC Administrative Offices in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, and visiting the relief sites as needed.

Regional:

  • Houston:
    • Steve Larson, Regional Disaster Response Coordinator
    • Fred de Ru, Site Coordinator
    • Peggy Sumpter, Volunteer Coordinator
  • Puerto Rico:
    • Presbytery of New Jersey: Puerto Rico Disaster Response Committee
    • Ed Kauffman, Regional Disaster Response Coordinator

We Need You!

  • Skilled volunteers are needed for construction work
  • Unskilled volunteers can help support the team and help with local outreach
  • Volunteers are responsible for their own travel to the relief site in most cases
  • Volunteers are responsible for their own food in most cases
  • Volunteers will be provided with local housing

Disaster Relief is Diaconal:

  • Let the deacons in your church know that you are interested in volunteering for hurricane relief.
  • Ask if diaconal funds can be used towards your transportation and food.

Call for Volunteers:

  • Click here for a printable PDF flier to use as a bulletin insert or poster at your church.

Current Needs for Volunteers:

Houston Application Form and FAQs:

  • Click here for FAQs and an application to serve as a Hurricane Harvey Volunteer in Houston.

Examples of Volunteer Jobs:

  • A sample list of work that has been performed in Houston includes but is not limited to: Inspection of property damage to assess how we may serve the family, yard and property debris cleanup, tear out and demolition of damaged walls, floors, cabinetry and the like, mold remediation, repair/replace electrical wiring and fixtures, repair/replace plumbing and fixtures, install moisture barrier systems, install new insulation and drywall, finish and paint drywall, install flooring, windows, interior and exterior doors, interior moldings, lighting, kitchen cabinetry and appliances, reconstruct built-in shelves and cabinetry, inspect and repair HVAC systems, dig exterior drainage ditches and install drain pipe, regrade exterior of property to improve drainage, repair/replace gutters and downspouts, roof repairs.

Follow Hurricane Relief:

Donate to Hurricane Relief:

  • Click here for instructions on How to Donate

Contact:

Any and all questions may be directed to our Volunteer Coordinators. They look forward to hearing from you.

Volunteer Photo Gallery:

 

 

 

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