Bless Texas

Published 11:27 am Tuesday, September 5, 2017

WINTON – Devastation has swept across the southeastern portion of Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey which dumped a record-breaking amount of rain and caused flooding that displaced thousands of people. Picking up the pieces after this life-changing event will be a slow recovery for the citizens of Houston and the surrounding areas, but they won’t have to do it alone.

The West Chowan Baptist Association, a collective of churches in Northampton, Hertford, and Bertie counties, is currently collecting donations to send to victims with a fundraiser they’re simply calling “Texas Relief.” They’re working in partnership with the NC Baptist Men/Baptists on Missions organization for this project.

“The goal is to bless Texas as quickly as we can,” said Derik Davis, pastor of Winton Baptist Church.

Davis’ church has volunteered to be a staging site to help get all the donations from various churches together before they transport the items. While Davis and his congregation are not planning at the moment to go all the way to Texas, they will bring the donations on September 22 to the drop-off point at the Baptist on Missions distribution center in Red Springs, NC. From there, the items will be transported again to be distributed to people in need in the still-waterlogged state.

Davis said Winton Baptist might send people directly to Texas later, but for now they’re just doing what they can from home while they wait.

For this relief effort, the Baptist Association is accepting three different kinds of donations: hygiene kits, first-aid kits, and diapers/baby formula.

Hygiene kits should be a one-gallon sealable Ziploc bag filled with items such as soap, lotion, shampoo, deodorant, washcloths, combs, brushes, facial tissue, shaving cream/razor, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products.

Pastor Derik Davis of Winton Baptist Church packs completed hygiene kits into a container, which will be sent to Texas later this month. Staff Photo by Holly Taylor

First-aid kits can be ones that are available at local grocery and drug stores.

They are not accepting water, bleach, or clothing donations. Monetary donations, however, are welcome and will be used to help purchase more supplies.

“We’re excited about the response,” Davis said.

In the first 24 hours of the effort, he said, they’d already received $500 in donations and enough items to fill about 40 kits.

Davis’ wife, Allison, and son, Jacob, were already hard at work putting together kits with the help of fellow church members and Chowan University students Shaniqua Sutton and Cheston McEachern.

“I feel good about doing this because I feel like I can give back even though I can’t be there to do something,” Sutton said, comparing the experience to a mission trip without the travel.

“I’m excited to help the people in need, especially the kids,” Allison added.

Pastor Davis emphasized the importance of helping out the people who were suffering, explaining they were backing up their prayers for the people with action.

“It’s a practical way to share God’s love,” he said. “God calls us to put faith and works together.”

Those interested in donating to the relief effort can drop off kits at the Mission Resource Center at the West Chowan Baptist Association office, located at 335 NC Hwy 42, Ahoskie, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday until September 20.

Winton Baptist Church is accepting donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday until September 21.

People can also contact other local churches in the Association to see when they are available to accept donations. The Texas relief project is a joint effort between a multitude of churches as everyone pools their resources together.

“Maybe we can’t go to Texas,” Davis said, “but this is something we can do to bless lives.”


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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