Help In the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

Our concerns and prayers are with the Presbyterian School community and the greater Houston area. After the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey, we, along with our friends, neighbors, and colleagues, worked tirelessly to re-establish homes for those we love dearly and those we barely know. Maya Angelou’s poem, The Human Family, rang true this past week as we discovered that sudden loss and devastation were not limited to a few. “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” Doors opened as Presbyterian School families selflessly provided for each other’s needs.

We are grateful for how our school community rallied around those in need. Whether it was providing a place to stay, transportation, help moving, hot meals, money for new furniture, child care, demolition muscle, or a shoulder to cry on, our families showed up in our city’s time of need.

In the days ahead there will no doubt be more heart-wrenching discoveries of loss and more opportunities to show support. Below are links to the best resources that have come to our attention in the past few days. We send hope and courage your way and are confident that together we can do great things. 

Current PS Assistance - Phase 2

We have been overwhelmed with countless offers of generosity and an outpouring for those PS community members who have suffered loss and damage due to Hurricane Harvey.

As urgent needs die down and more long term needs arise, we have created a new survey that will help us to be more strategic and better align our ability to deploy resources.  If you have previously emailed or contacted us regarding volunteer efforts, we still need you to complete this new survey for our extended efforts. 

On Monday, September 25th, we will begin using the data gathered from the survey to line up more efficiently volunteer interests and opportunities.

Click here to take the Presbyterian School Hurricane Harvey Assistance Survey whether you are in need or wanting to volunteer.

PS Assistance - Phase 1

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we enlisted our Grade Level Homeroom Parents and Servant Heart reps to check on each family in the School. The majority of our families reported safe without flood damage. However, over 35 families and faculty experienced mandatory evacuations, flooding, property damage and loss, and other flood-related issues. We are thankful for the outpouring of help and aid which many Presbyterian School families offered. Flooded PS families and faculty have been lifted up and are on the road to recover as a result of the generous and unhesitating support of the Presbyterian School community.

A special thank you to these representatives for all of their help:

Beta – Stephanie Holmes and Jessica Marshall
PreKindergarten – Kellie Lawrence and Rani Nanda
Kindergarten – Liz Freeland and Michelle Jarrell
First Grade – Don Langston and Anna McKay
Second Grade – Grace Oberti and Lettie Vellano
Third Grade – Aryn De Lisi and Mariella Self
Fourth Grade – Aimee Bolton and Amber Alonso
Fifth Grade – Farzanah Gangjee and Katy Murray
Sixth Grade – Lori Hendricks and Sarah Underwood
Seventh Grade – Linda Parrish
Eighth Grade – Judy Farrell

Helping the City

Mucking: (v.) the process of cleaning up flood houses.
If your house got flooded during the storm, then it might need to be mucked. Mucking means activities like removing wet carpets, flooring, dry wall, mud, or other items to prepare a flooded home for drying out and renovations. If you are reasonably healthy and own a painter's face mask and some gloves, you're qualified and needed. Click here to request help or to volunteer your services.

Share your Place 
Do you have a place for a displaced family to stay? Airbnb is also offering survivors, workers and volunteers short-term lodging with hosts free of charge. List your place on Airbnb.  

Share Your Car
Many rental car companies are out of cars. As an alternative, people are turning to car sharing sites such as GetAround and Turo, to find a car to rent. (Think Airbnb, but for cars!) List your car out for a day or two to fellow Houstonians who have flooded vehicles and places to go.

Work with the Red Cross
You can volunteer with the Red Cross which requires a volunteer registration. Click here to register.

Aid for the Nehemiah Center
A significant number of Nehemiah Center families have been displaced by the floods. Some lost almost everything except for their faith. The Center maintains an emergency relief fund called Womanade but the needs far exceed this existing resource. Paying tuition will be difficult for families who already live at or below poverty level. The Nehemiah Center plans to waive fees for families affected by the hurricane by utilizing Womanade funds to cover student tuition costs. If you are interested in blessing a Nehemiah family, make a donation to the "Womande Emergency Relief Fund" or "Operations" to support long term assistance. Donations may be made online. The tangible items our families need include; towels, blankets, socks, toiletries, child undergarments and non-perishable food items. Donations may be dropped off at 5015 Fannin Street, Houston, TX 77004. 

 

Helpful Articles

Recovery: After a Hurricane
By: The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Most families will recover over time, particularly with the support of family, friends, and organizations. The length of recovery will depend in part upon how frightening the hurricane was, whether evacuation from home was necessary, and the extent of the damage and loss. Some families will be able to return to their normal routines rather quickly, while others will have to contend with repairing damage to their home and possessions, finding medical care, and facing financial hardship. Some families will have lost a loved one or a pet. Others will need to deal with school closings or changes in school schedules.

Helping Children After a Natural Disaster: Information for Families and Educators
By: National Association of School Psychologists
Natural disasters can be especially traumatic for children and youth. Experiencing a dangerous or violent flood, storm, or earthquake is frightening even for adults, and the devastation to the familiar environment (i.e., home and community) can be long-lasting and distressing. Often an entire community is affected, further undermining children’s sense of security and normalcy.

Tax-Free Financial Assistance for Employees Hit By Harvey and Other Benefit Plan Considerations
From Vinson Elkins, (from September 1, 2017)  (Attached)

Tips for Harvey Survivors, from Those Who Live Through Sandy
By N.R. Kleinfield,, The New York Times (from August 31, 2017)
Some storm recovery advice for the afflicted of southeast Texas from New Yorkers who have unfortunately been there, unfortunately done this: “Bathe your kids at their accustomed times. Use the gas of wrecked cars to fuel your generator. Beware of taking too much time off from your job. The sight of a squirrel might help.”

Katrina and Disruptive Innovation
By: Carolyn Chandler, Metairie Park Country Day, (from August 12, 2013)
The attached article was written by Carolyn Chandler, former ISAS Board Officer, who retired in June as Head of Metairie Park Country Day. Though a while ago, Katrina memories are as fresh as yesterday for those who lived it. There are inspiring words in her perspective for surviving and thriving beyond Hurricane Harvey.

Texas Hurricane Rescues Show How Quickly our Divisions Wash Away
By: Rex Huppke, The Chicago Tribune (from August 28, 2017)
Tragedies like the one unfolding in Texas, as rain continues to fall and flood waters rise, have a way of peeling layers off people until only their humanity remains.  Just the bare essence. The good stuff.  Stripped away are the things that bog us down so much, things like faith or skin color, sexuality or political beliefs.

 

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