Will you help us heal the hurting hearts of Hurricane Harvey flood survivors?
On August 25th Hurricane Harvey began dropping fifty inches of rain across the Houston area leading to epic, catastrophic flooding. The historic and unprecedented flooding impacted the entire area, shutting down transportation and ruining homes. Sadly dozens lost family members, tens of thousands lost their homes, and hundreds of thousands lost their vehicles. Over six million people were impacted by school and business closures.
As the rains lifted and the flood waters began to subside, the reality of the losses began to sit in. Shield Bearer staff and volunteers jumped into action in the rescue and restoration efforts, volunteering at shelters and collecting and distributing clothing, food, diapers, formula and clean up supplies. While our offices were closed due to road closures, our Client Relations Specialists remained available to take calls and schedule appointments. Counselors kept their appointments virtually, through conference calls and HIPAA compliant video sessions.
We know what it means for affected flood survivors. We walked with Katrina evacuees, Ike survivors, and last year’s “Tax Day” floods through the devastating trauma of losing so much. Our expertise in working with sex traffic survivors, veterans, and survivors of crime will be put to use in bringing peace and hope to Hurricane Harvey survivors.
Our offices had little impact, however, our experience tells us that we will be financially impacted by flood related intakes. Some of the people who will call will have ongoing issues that the storms exacerbated, like the family with an OCD mother whose home was inundated with sewage back up. Or the twelve year old whose trichotillomania was exacerbated and by the time we could see her had almost picked all of the hair out of her head.
For others, the storm will reveal the issue, like the hoarder who’s home was flooded and lost everything she had stored for many years. Or those with depression and anxiety, which had been under control until the flooding. Couples who have been managing to live parallel lives in the same home for years will find the storm illuminating the horrible state of their dying marriage.
I’m reminded of a family of five whose apartment complex was flooded by Hurricane Ike. They called with trauma related symptoms. Two of the elementary age children were unable to sleep as their nightmares wakened them. Their thirteen-year old teen had started cutting her arms. Mom was depressed and had no motivation to get out of bed anymore. Dad was drinking any time he was not working.
Our team of trauma specialists began working with them, each in weekly individual sessions and every other week in a longer family session. Our counselors met together in prayer weekly as they discovered they were Katrina evacuees who had lost everything a few years earlier. The double trauma of losing what they had rebuilt again had delivered a devastating blow to their hearts.
Over the course of twenty-three months, each moved from hopelessness and despair to peace and hope. They each began to see a future. Instead of feeling like they have no control and life happens to them, they began to see how they could impact their world. Instead of fighting and blaming, they began to see their other family members as a place of help and strength.
God used Shield Bearer to bring hope and healing to this shattered family. After mom’s heart and mind were in a better place, she decided to go back to school. A few years later she joined our team as a counselor. She is someone who is able to look into the eyes of flood victims and say, “I know exactly what you are going through. I’ve been there. You can get through this!”
Last year, our average cost to provide a counseling session was $66.20 while clients paid an average of $36.13 per session for an average of 7.5 sessions per case. Our best guess conservative estimate is that we will continue to receive intakes for a few months and that the financial impact to our ministry will be around $97,324.
I am asking you to prayerfully consider a gift to cover this expense. A gift of any amount will help us meet this unexpected obligation to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the unseen affects of the historic impact of Hurricane Harvey. Whatever God calls you to do, may He be glorified and may He continue to bless you and all your hands touch.
Please help us help Houston Recover!
Your help is needed NOW!
- Pray for victims and our team of counselors who work to heal their hurting hearts every day. Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Commit to learning how to get involved as a volunteer. We need advocates to share with churches, civic groups and community organizations what God is doing through us with this population. Learn more at one of our monthly breakfasts or email us at email@example.com.
- Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a presentation at one of your professional, civic or church groups about what God is doing through us in this effort.
- Invest in the effective trauma treatment that moves victims to survivors.
- Make a one time donation of $200 to cover the monthly counseling expenses of one victim.
- Set up a monthly donation of $50 to know you are paying for a session every month.
- Talk to your professional, civic or church group about a fund drive to help heal hurting hearts.
Click the Donate Now button or send a donation by mail to:
Shield Bearer Counseling Centers
12340 Jones Rd. STE 290
Houston, TX 77070