Christian group seeks donations, volunteers for disaster relief efforts

By September 6, 2005

USA (MNN)–“They’re coming in droves, many of them still wearing rain-soaked shoes, and others, mainly small children, wearing no shoes at all.” That’s what Jeff Jones, the director of operations for Buckner Orphan Care International says of Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath.

With New Orleans, Louisiana, shattered and all but gone, storm refugees are flooding nearby host states like Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Many surviving families have children in tow who need to get back into school and into some kind of routine. Host states are also opening their schools to the evacuees.
But the list of needs is endless.

Buckner Benevolences, a 126-year-old social service ministry based in Dallas, stepped in to give the benefit of not only experience, but also their facilities. They opened their doors in Houston, Beaumont, Longview, Lufkin and at the Buckner Crisis Relief Center in Dallas.

Buckner’s Tiffany Taylor says, “We’ve had hundreds of families coming to our Buckner facilities for refugee relief, but in addition to that, we’re going to partner for not just the families that are going to be living on our campuses, for the short and long term, we’re gong to be partnering with organizations to help figure out the childcare issues for these children.”

Buckner is also partnering with Wilshire Baptist Church to send thousands of new shoes, socks and shoelaces to aid hurricane victims displaced in Baton Rouge, La. They’ll also be sending clothing, undergarments, personal care kits, air mattresses and other aid with Buckner’s shoe shipment.

The first of three planned delivery missions launched on Labor Day. Volunteers from Wilshire Baptist loaded supplies onto trucks and began their caravan to Louisiana.

With thousands of Gulf region evacuees seeking refuge in Texas, volunteers and funds are needed. But Taylor says they also desperately need prayer support. “We just really see this as a spiritual battle and that we must, as Christians, be on the forefront of helping these families and doing it with the love of Christ.”

If you’d like to help, go to: http://www.buckner.org.

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