Church asks for unity in emergency relief efforts
Giving Johnson County an avenue to help with emergency relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey and future disasters in the south, OpenDoor Church Pastor Troy Brewer has mobilized church resources to form ODC Emergency Relief Operation.
“This is about unity,” said Brewer at a hastily called community meeting last Thursday in which about 50 citizens and a handful of local officials attended.
“We want to provide a coordinated effort by partnering with area churches, businesses, civic groups, schools, and government entities to bring relief efforts in this and future disasters that will hit Texas and its neighbors. Churches, join us. There is a place for you with us.”
Brewer said OpenDoor has been blessed with much of the infrastructure for ODC ERO because of its large food bank warehouse in Joshua, and relief efforts to Mexico and around the world.
“We are also calling on an amazing group of people in our midst,” said Brewer of the former military, police, firefighters, teachers and housewives already working in ministry. “If you want organization, coordination and people with contacts, here they are.”
Retired Arlington firefighter, Barry Gee, of Burleson, is the volunteer director of ODC ERO. He likened the church’s plan to fighting a fire.
“Our goal is to fight this fire in one place. Fix the problem then move on to the next ‘hot spot.’ We want to activate God’s people to rescue the perishing both physically and eternally,” he said while addressing the crowd.
Gee said the church already has eight teams identified and skilled volunteer leaders who have jumped into action.
“Do you have the skills and expertise to help with any of these things?” Gee asked. “Because we need you.”
Volunteers are needed for the following assignments now and for future disasters.
• Donation Team
• Fundraising Team
• Communications Team
• Food and Cooking Team
• Community Liaison Team
• Hotline Volunteer Team
• Transportation Team
• Resource Team
Brewer and Gee both stressed this is a way for Johnson County and the surrounding area to make a difference without getting in the way of government and other relief efforts.
“We pledge to work with major relief efforts and government agencies – not against them. We want to complement their efforts, not hinder them,” Gee said.
“We believe the church is rising up united for such as time as this,” said Brewer. “We at OpenDoor Church will stand in the gap with our brother and sister churches, community and government agencies [local and beyond] to put our foot on the neck of evil and see Jesus Christ and His church come together to bring heaven to earth. This effort is not about us. It’s about answering evil with good in the name of Jesus.”
Brewer stresses that because this effort is completely volunteer run, 100 percent of money donated will go toward relief efforts.
“Nobody is or will be getting paid,” he said. “It is only about helping people get what they need.”
OpenDoor Church, said Brewer, has already sent three truckloads of food to the Houston area from donations and the OpenDoor Food Bank. Cooking teams have been feeding victims and first responders for more than a week, Gee said, and more are being sent. The church also sponsored a swift water rescue team that has pulled more than 70 people to safety.
“We’d like to send more, but we want to give the community and other churches and organizations the opportunity to join us. We can do so much more together,” Gee said.
To volunteer for ERO rescue efforts, cooking teams or relief work, call 817-357-5654 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org for contact and volunteer information.
To donate food and necessities, a drop-off truck is parked at 301 S. Dobson Street, Burleson, or call 817-357-5654 to coordinate larger items and amounts.
To donate money to fund this effort, or to fund a swift water rescue team, log on to Facebook ODC Emergency Relief Operation and click on the “Donate” tab.
“Remember, we are all volunteers. 100 percent of your donation will go toward disaster relief,” said Brewer.
Not sure how to help? Gee and Brewer invite all to talk with a Hotline Volunteer who can help find a place in this effort.
“You are the perfect person to bring hope and healing to the hurting of this tragedy,” Brewer said. “Again, join us.”