How your youth group can help respond to Hurricane Harvey


By Adam McLane

Like everyone else I’ve been paying close attention to both the immediate rescue efforts and the long-term needs of those effected by Hurricane Harvey. And along the way I’ve heard from fellow youth workers wondering what they can do to help, more specifically how they can get their youth group (or church) practically engaged in helping.

My response to that Holy Spirit tug compelling us to act when something like this happens is always 3-fold:

Pray – Commit to praying for those impacted by the storm.

Give – Give what you can and as you feel lead.

Go – Consider going to help in recovery efforts, maybe not right now but as the Holy Spirit leads.

Today I specifically want to point you to those first two items: What is World Vision currently doing? How can you help? And how can we pray for those impacted and even those who are responding to the need?

Below is an excerpt from an article on the World Vision website which helps us answer those first two questions: “How can our youth groups pray? How can our youth groups give?

How is World Vision responding?

On Aug. 25, as the storm approached Texas, World Vision began shipping relief goods from four of its field sites across the United States: Fife, Washington; Grand Prairie, Texas; Chicago; and Philippi, West Virginia.

Our team of staff, local churches, and community partners is mobilizing to reach 300,000 people affected by the disaster. On Wednesday, Aug. 30, four 53-foot semitrucks arrived to affected areas and local partners distributed supplies to storm victims. Several other trucks are en route from warehouses across the country to Houston and Corpus Christi. Each trailer carries enough supplies to help about 2,500 people, said Reed Slattery, World Vision’s national gifts-in-kind program director, who is helping coordinate the response.

“The need is so great on the ground, we’re just trying to be able to respond as quickly as we can, to try to meet that need as best as we can,” Reed said.

Emergency supplies headed to the disaster zone include: tents, sleeping bags, coolers, food kits, personal hygiene items, women’s toiletry kits, school supplies, toys, socks, clothes, diapers, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, and latex gloves.

Products are being distributed to churches and local partner organizations to benefit storm victims there.

Getting supplies from World Vision to pass on to shelters and people in need is “a huge blessing to this community,” said Dan Worrell, operations minister for Houston Northwest Baptist Church which received one of the first truckloads of supplies Wednesday from the Grand Prairie warehouse. “We’re able to distribute in a level greater than we did previously.”

How can your youth group help?

Right now, our warehouse staff, truck drivers, and local partners are working to mobilize and deliver relief supplies to affected communities as quickly and safely as possible.

Almighty Father, we ask for Your mercy on those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Protect people. Guide emergency responders as they seek to help those in need.