Here For Good Through Winter Storms
Last week, the state of Texas weathered two epic “once in a generation” winter storms. The bitter cold and accumulations of snow and ice impacted countless communities, resulting in disruptions to the power and water supply.
Many households experienced rolling blackouts or the complete loss of electricity and water as temperatures dropped dangerously near zero.
Some people were able to open their doors to friends and neighbors in need. But many residents were unable to leave their homes or had nowhere safe to go.
The hazardous conditions prompted Chase Oaks leaders, volunteers, local partners, and other community members to do something to help. At 10 AM on Tuesday, February 16, church staff met and decided to open up two campuses that had not lost power.
The SNOVID Team
Key leaders (aka the “SNOVID Team”) eagerly jumped in. One person fired up the grill and started cooking; a married couple packed their bags to serve as overnight hosts; several helpers shoveled a path through the snow at the entryway; still others helped with logistics and setup. People spread the word through social media, and donations of food, toiletries, winter coats, handknitted scarves and hats, firewood, and more poured in.
Within hours, these two campuses—Sloan Creek and Woodbridge—had been transformed into warming, charging, and food centers, with an option for those in need to stay overnight.
By 2 PM, the centers were ready. Partners continued to check in to see what else was needed as people began to arrive. Several families and individuals came to rest, warm up, or just plug in and work.
More families came to stay overnight, leaving the next morning with sandwich fixings, spaghetti, oatmeal, water and fruit to bring home. Those with wood-burning fireplaces were also given firewood.
Combined, Sloan Creek and Woodbridge Campuses were able to shelter 36 overnight guests (plus three pets!) and serve an additional 37 people over the course of several days. Hopefully, each of these guests now views the campuses as not just a building, but as an extended family.
Help to the Community
Meanwhile, as other needs in the community continued to surface, volunteers stepped up to help in other ways. Drivers delivered additional food and water to nearby families who were housebound or dealing with plumbing issues from frozen and burst water pipes. SNOVID team members fielded a wide range of requests for assistance, including bringing in local partner Trusted World to deliver bottled water to an entire senior community that had no other access to water.
Though the storms have now passed, many residents have suffered additional property damage from bursting water pipes as temperatures began to rise. Cleanup efforts are still continuing. People are encouraged to check in on their neighbors, and to help however they can. Visit our website here to request cleanup assistance or volunteer to help others.
Through the challenges of the past week, Chase Oakers have put their love and faith into action and in the process, are changing perceptions of Christianity within the community for the better. They are showing others that Chase Oaks is Here For Good.
Looking for ways to be Here For Good beyond winter storm recovery? Learn more about how to get involved with the Local Good Center here.