BLUFFTON, Sc. (WSAV) – After Hurricane Matthew, the Lowcountry Community Church in Bluffton was a command center for volunteers to stay while helping residents, and now they say it’s their turn to help.
“That kind of pain that you feel after something you’ve been through knowing somebody else is going through,” said Benedette McGuire with the Lowcountry Community Church, “We need to take that pain and just turn it into something good.
For McGuire, watching Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in Texas feels all too familiar…
“We went through it last year and nowhere near as bad as they’ve gotten impacted, so you know what they’re experiencing.” said McGuire.
Harvey’s category four hurricane, experts say one of the worst flood disasters in US history. FEMA expects more than 30,000 people in shelters and almost half a million will need disaster aid.
The Lowcountry church is now gathering troops to send and serve.
“We’ll be working with Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham’s Rapid Response Team,” McGuire said, “Those are the groups that set up command stations here last year when Matthew hit. And we’re going to go and serve them serve those people just the way they came here and served us last year.”
with command stations set up in Rockport, Galveston, Victoria and Houston, they plan to send three groups in September and October, possibly another in November.
“When they were here for us during Matthew, they impacted over 660 families homes in our area,” she said, “They went in and helped clean up, pull limbs off that cannot be done without volunteers showing up.”
While they are still figuring out the details of where they are going and when, McGuire says the volunteers will stay at local church and food will be provided. Those who want to go only have to worry about travel expense; right now McGuire says flights are about $250 dollars. When it comes to the need, neither age nor strength matter.
“We had people from 15 on up to in their 70’s and 80’s serving. So you don’t always have to be this big burly guy with a chainsaw, of course they are needed too, but you can go in and help you know just sweep up or move some furniture or get trash to the curb,” she said.
UPDATE: The dates are confirmed:
“What I remember from last year, even when people got back into their homes, the financial devastation to their lives because they were unemployed for weeks on end and couldn’t go back to work,” McGuire said, “The lingering effects are just craz,y so I would ask that people just continue to pray over Texas.”
If you would like to go, you can email Benedette McGuire at email@example.com.
UPDATED DETAILS FROM LOWCOUNTRY COMMUNITY CHURCH:
“We know that we will fly into Houston and rent vans to drive to the lighthouse church that we will be staying in for the week. The cost to fly is $250 round trip into Houston from Charleston. Lodging and meals are provided by the “lighthouse church.” Our disaster response teams are limited in size to 15 people. Please email the Missions and Outreach Ministry with any questions and if you are interested in joining us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lowcountry knows what this looks and feels like. This is our chance to be able to give back and care for those that need it most now, like we were so well cared for last year when Hurricane Matthew hit here. If joining us in Texas is not an option for you, please consider donating directly to Samaritan’s Purse donate here. In addition, we will be collecting Walmart gift cards in $25 increments to bring with us and give to the local churches. This will help them address immediate needs for clothing and food.”