Hurricane Harvey: Rescue, Relief, and Recovery

Collections Task Force
Members: Laura Gonski, Trey LaMair, Edward Moody, & Robert Romig
Staff Liaison: Sam Hensley
Expected Sunset: September 30
Description & Charge:
In this stage of the disaster, our collections intend to meet the immediate needs of “Rescue” efforts. Therefore, these programs will necessarily be the most fluid and end soonest, and our delivery efficiency will likely be lowest. The Collections Task Force will provide the easiest opportunity for participation, with the lowest levels of time commitment. With this lay of the land, our Collections Task Force has sought to maximize what impact we can make.
Message from the Collections TF:
With some good leads already on the books, we are working to identify an immediate need that our congregation might fill in the areas worst affected by Hurricane Harvey. We have tentatively selected the Port Aransas/Rockport area as where we would like to target our efforts. Our goal is to identify a local charity or other organization that can connect us with an immediate need. Then we will let the congregation know what is needed and how we plan to get it to that community.
Completed project:
The Austin Diaper Bank needs new, packaged diapers, wipes, and creams in their assistance to the Houston Diaper Bank. Remaining judicious about ensuring that our Good Shepherd collections bless and do not burden the organizations we seek to support, we believe that working through these extant agencies and providing goods that will still be helpful after the floodwaters recede, best honors our intentions and the real needs at this time. Please drop your donations at our second campus, The Hill (1700 Woodland Avenue, 78746) this Saturday, September 9, between 8:00a and 11:00a, during our Second Saturday Sale.

Local Volunteerism Task Force
Members: Aimee Borders, Taylor Bowles, Ashley Clauer, Anne Jarvis, David Jones, Lee Jones, Lauren Kay, Suzanne Stewart, & Becky Svahn
Staff Liaison: Shannon Preston
Expected Sunset: Fall 2017
Description & Charge:
Our local volunteerism intends to offer support of “Relief” efforts in the Austin area. Like the collections work, these programs and opportunities will also be fluid, and we maximize our “efficiency” by fitting our people into existing organizations’ structures (like the Red Cross’ shelters around our city, as an important example). The Local Volunteerism Task Force will expect next-level, roll-up-your-sleeves time commitments, which we hope to facilitate (with preparation and participation) for those interested in serving.
Message from the Collections TF:
With an eye toward providing opportunities to make a difference today, we first encourage anyone interested in serving at the local shelters to register at the Red Cross by following this link. Please be patient, as their system has been significantly taxed. If you are already Red-Cross registered and are ready to serve, please send an email to Shannon Preston. Further, we intend to provide a range of possibilities for local service, including meet-ups at the Central Texas Food Bank (where donations are now being directed); Austin Pets Alive (where displaced animals are being received); and the local blood bank. These will continue well into the fall. If you are interested in leading or participating in one of these meet-ups, please keep checking our Harvey response page, or email Shannon. Thank you for your help and hearts!
Completed project:
Austin Pets Alive (APA) needs assistance with volunteer meals. Volunteers at the Tarrytown location are working tirelessly to handle the influx of displaced animals coming to Austin from Houston. APA hopes to provide food and drinks daily for their volunteers. At Good Shepherd, we are looking to cover lunches for Saturday and Sunday. Lunches should accommodate 10-20 volunteers (including vegan options) both of these days. You can sign up to deliver meals here:

Distance Service Task Force
Members: Christine Brunson, Gene Burrus, Ashley Odom, Jessica Pieratt, Joseph Presley, Charlie Quisenberry, Paul Sarahan, Sarah Sarahan, Hale Umstattd, & Jack Wolfe
Staff Liaison: Stanford Adams
Expected Sunset: 2018
Description & Charge:
Our “Distance Service” Task Force – that is, outreach to areas outside of Austin: from as nearby as La Grange, to the wind and storm-surge affected coastal communities, and to the flood-suffering metroplexes of Houston and Beaumont – will support of “Recovery” efforts in Texas. Unlike the other Task Forces, Distance Service programs will be needed for years, rather than days, and these scope of these needs have yet to be determined. The Distance Service Task Force will require the highest-level time and financial commitments. Therefore, we will strive to meet our highest bars of efficiency and effective Stewardship, likely partnering with diocesan and broader Church efforts, in order to maximize our resources.
Message from the Collections TF:
As civic, state, and Church leaders have requested, we ask for patience in this heated moment. All of us share the impulse to help, and we trust that our community will be ready to respond when affected areas can receive what we have to offer. We intend to witness our parish’s call “constancy, not urgency,” and to be a resource for recovery for months and years, not just for hours or days. We recognize our congregations’ important and abiding connections to Beaumont, Houston, and the Texas Coast, and, in our response, we will seek to honor those histories and relationships. For now, Bishop Doyle and the Diocese of Texas’ communications remain the best way to stay up-to-date and engaged in the known and emerging needs.