Hurricane Ike Volunteer Relief in San Leon, Galveston County

Project417 Hurricane Ike Relief Update – October 16th, 2008
Hello Project417 supporters. As you know I just returned for a short term mission trip to Texas to help out the survivors of Hurricane Ike in Texas. I was a volunteer with the Houston Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services and served in the Houston Gulf Coast region – Pasadena and San Leon Texas, from Sept. 25th to October 10th.

The damage in coastal Texas is very severe. The devastation and aftermath I witnessed are equal and sometimes worse than the damage from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. The media in the U.S. have had a difficult time getting the news out, being overshadowed by the election and economic meltdown. Notwithstanding, the people of Texas need our help. Especially the town of San Leon, Texas where I served. I also heard from other members of the team stationed in Galveston that the damage is in some cases unimaginable. One Army Corps of Engineers specialist I spoke with compared the damage there as equal to what Katrina visited on Biloxi, Mississippi – the storm surge has wiped the coast clean in many areas, only slab foundations left.

After three days helping at the Salvation Army Incident Command Center in Pasadena, I was assigned to help with three other people from Mississippi and Virginia, on a mobile canteen truck serving hot meals. I served about twelve hundred meals a day to the people of San Leon, who still had no electricity, and in many cases no homes, for a total of 12,000 meals for ten days. Our Pasadena group of five or six canteens served more than six thousand meals a day. There are multiple Incident commands in the Houston area, including Galveston and Louisiana, and the total number of meals served to Hurricanes Gustav and Ike survivors from Salvation Army canteens is more than 1.8 million. This is in addition to Red Cross canteens who also roam the area, as well as numerous church kitchens and independent relief organizations like the Southern Baptists and many others. The church has responded to the call for help.
I’ll certainly be posting more stories of perseverance and survival from the people of Texas. Project417 has decided to change our upcoming mission to New Orleans to focus on the urgent needs of San Leon Texas. Contact us here to join the team. San Leon is a poor town of about five thousand right on the coast. Their main industries – oyster harvesting, shrimp and crab fisheries have been almost wiped out. Their homes, mainly small wood frame “cottages” and trailers have been severely damaged or totally destroyed. Few have insurance and many will have difficulty collecting payments from FEMA.  A large percentage of the population is Vietnamese American and Hispanic. They were a joy to help, especially the children like Victor above and his sister Victoria, whose family of seven were sleeping in their Dad’s old Suburban in the driveway of their flooded out home. They slept in the car and started going to school every day just last week, and still they would come help us serve the meals to the thousands that visited the local disaster relief center established at the San Leon Community Church. I’m going back to help them, won’t you come too?
New photos and stories about Hurricane Ike disaster relief will be posted daily for the next few day, check back often.

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4 Responses

  1. I volunteered and helped distribute food and other necessities at the San Leon Community Church in Oct. I am wondering if there is still a distribution point there? What other needs do they have?

  2. Hello Lesley,

    The best thing to do would be to contact San Leon Community Church, their Pastor, Bob Gibson. I’ll email you his contact information. I don’t know if the distribution point is still open. I just spoke to him yesterday though and community recovery efforts continue. There is much reconstruction and renovation of family homes. Even the church itself is scheduled for major re-building in January. I have team of Georgia State University students visiting from Dec 13th to 17th to work on community projects. Thanks for your concerns < Andy Coats

  3. We are going to bring a group of around 20 people down from our faith-based disaster relief group Isaiah 58:12. We will be arriving Jan 1, and returning between the 8th and 10th.

    We have been going down to Mississippi for the last three years and have done everything from chain sawing trees off of peoples houses, handing out provisions to people, to rebuilding houses from the ground up.

    Please let me know as soon as possible.

    Thank you


  4. I was surfing the web and came across this web site. I am the church secretary here at San Leon Community Church and I wanted to let everyone know that we are still needing help down here. We are rebuilding and we still have a food distribution every Friday at 9am, rain or shine. FEMA has pulled out of this area. We are helping people rebuild as much as we can. We are in need of skilled workers. Thanks to all that have helped. And any one interested should come by and see the church that God built for us in only 5 days!

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