HURRICANE HARVEY RELIEF
Iris Relief deployed volunteers following the August 25th touchdown of Hurricane Harvey. Iris deployed to Corpus Christi, Texas and was able to partner with Rock City Church. The church was able to help us connect with the greatest area of need. Throughout the course of this deployment, we were able to host 3 intensive trainings with Iris alumni, local churches, and partnering ministries. This allowed us to integrate with the community and church in a collaborative effort to meet the needs of the city.
During this time, we met with families that were affected and in some cases lost their homes, vehicles, jobs, schools, etc. When we arrived, most could not communicate to our teams just how they really felt about what had happened. Some were in total shock from the aftermath and destruction. Each home received prayer, encouragement, and a message of hope. We were also able to get supplies into communities that were in need. These supplies included food and water, tarps, diapers, pet food, bedding, cleaning supplies, and other donated items.
- Train and mobilize Iris volunteers, church volunteers, and local community volunteers
- Meet basic needs through relief supplies and volunteer labor
- Dispatch chaplains for spiritual and emotional care
- Empower the local church for long-term recovery
Throughout this deployment, we had 92 people that served a total of 1,909 man hours. Our teams were deployed in the cities of Corpus Christi, Port Aransas, Refugio, Rockport, Aransas Pass, Fulton, Ingleside, Tivoli and several neighboring communities. We ministered in these communities by performing:
● House muck outs
● Debris removal
● Tree removal
● Chaplaincy - spiritual and emotional care
● Cooling stations and health screenings with FEMA POD’s in Rockport & Ingleside
● Distribution of solar lights
● Distribution of donated relief items
● Rapid training and deployment
Iris Relief partnered with several ministries including:
● Watts of Love (Chicago, IL)
● Global Samaritan (Abilene, TX)
● Salty Roan (Abilene, TX)
● HerdX (Boerne, TX)
● Rick Caywood Ministries (Waco, TX)
● Beltway Park Church (Abilene, TX)
● Boots on the Ground (Beltway Park)
● Lee University School of Nursing (Cleveland, TN)
● Coastal Bend Family Worship Center (Aransas Pass)
● Rock City Church (Corpus Christi)
● Jorge Bosch - Bosch Aviation Academy (Dallas, TX)
● Forrest & Betty Glass - Katbird Ministries
● Iris alumni
Through these partnerships we were able to bring in heavy equipment (Tractor with a frontend loader and skid steer), Solar lights, a semi full of relief supplies (Including food, water, clothes, cleaning supplies, and many other items) medical professionals that were able to perform health screenings at the local POD’s, chain saws and other tools used in disaster work. Iris relief received financial donations that allowed us to purchase a Stihl chainsaw that was used to remove fallen trees from yards and homes. We also had a second Stihl chainsaw that was donated from Abilene, TX. At the end of the deployment, we created an inventory list of donated items that will be used for future deployments (ie: gloves, masks, safety glasses, etc).
In the time that Iris relief deployed, there was a lot of progress in these communities. However, the rebuilding stage is estimated to last up to 10 years. Iris Relief is continuing to partner with FEMA, Rock City Church, and the local communities to determine how we can help in the rebuilding stage.
Thank you to each of our partners, donors, and volunteers who have helped us to send teams on multiple deployments. We are praying continually for these families, and communities in South Texas, as well as other locations who have been affected by Hurricanes, Earthquakes, wildfires, etc.