Fall Storm Update
It’s been more than two months since Hurricane Harvey kicked off a series of several destructive hurricanes in the Atlantic. Millions of people are still without power, without clean water, and without homes to return to. In the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which were affected by hurricanes Irma and Maria, it could be months before power is fully restored. In Texas, experts estimate repair costs could top $70 billion due to the flooding and damage caused by Harvey.
The needs throughout the Caribbean and coastal United States are great, and repair and rebuilding efforts will be happening for many years to come. Thanks to the generosity of donors, we have received more than $750,000 in donations to help with these needs. The RCA has already started to help by financially supporting RCA churches and partners in Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean. This includes an initial gift of $25,000 to St. Thomas Reformed Church to help them feed hundreds of people in their community each day. We have also sent funds to the National Latino Evangelical Coalition to help their efforts to provide for the immediate needs of the people most impacted in Puerto Rico. In total we have disbursed more than $85,000 so far.
RCA Global Mission will continue to work to find the best partners, who are making the most impact, to maximize the impact of your gifts. We are also formulating a plan to ensure that the money you have so generously donated will help people in all stages of the rebuilding efforts, whether that is next week or three years from now.
Please continue to consider how you and your church can help. Financial needs will be significant for the foreseeable future. We will also need volunteers to help in all locations. If you are looking to volunteer, we will be working with our primary disaster response partner World Renew Disaster Response Services to send groups and individual volunteers to areas with the most need in Texas. We will also be working with our RCA churches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas Reformed Church and St. Croix Reformed Church, to provide volunteers and financial assistance as they help those communities rebuild. Many churches have already scheduled a volunteer trip; our team would be happy to help your church find a time to serve. Please contact RCA Volunteer Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Thank you again for your prayers, financial assistance, and willingness to serve.