We continue to encourage monetary donations, gift cards, and disaster buckets (illustrated). MBA Disaster Relief (DR) is monitoring and coordinating Hurricane Harvey and Irma Responses. Please contact Carolyn Battle, MBA Volunteer DR Coordinator or any of the MBA staff, firstname.lastname@example.org, 251-661-7111.Coordinating Response MBA DR has identified Houston churches needing help and willing to serve as a hub for community evangelistic ministry. Let us know if you are looking for a place to send teams after the water recedes. Please also let us know if you have identified a location and can partner with other MBA churches for supplies and volunteers. By supplies, we mean gift cards unless specific lists have been provided by specific locations.Current Assignments SBC Incident Management (Admin) Teams, Chaplains, Feeding, Laundry/Shower, Communications, Chain saw, Water Purification and Cleanup/Recovery/Mud-out teams are on site or on the way. Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief has been assigned to minister in Fort Myers, Florida with McGregor Baptist Church serving as the staging area (sbdr.org).Financial Donation Options Giving through Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ensures volunteers willing to meet spiritual as well as physical needs. One hundred percent of the gifts go to the disaster; a very important question to ask as you look at the groups asking for your donations. Your church financial secretary can include a Disaster Relief designation on your monthly Remittance form used to send CP and Associational missions tithes. Write in “DR-Texas” on the line “other designated gift” and designate the amount. You can also give online or send a check via www.SBCDR.org/Texas or http://sbtexas.com/evangelism/disaster-relief/hurricane-harvey-dr-information/.You can also donate through the North American Mission Board by texting SENDRELIEF to 41444 and aid the residents on the Texas coast who are impacted by severe flooding from #HurricaneHarvey. https://t.co/tKT4OBvXqB.The MBA also can accept and process your financial donation designated to Texas DR.Collecting Gift Cards Please limit the collection and transportation of supplies to specific lists from specific locations. Instead of the actual items, please give gift cards so affected families can get the food they like, clothes that fit and cleaning supplies they prefer.People really like the satisfaction of putting a case of water (etc.) in a trailer to be hauled to a disaster affected area. But: 1) The needs change so rapidly that water (etc.) needed today is in surplus before collection and delivery can be made, 2) The cost of delivering the goods would be better used on current priority needs, 3) Delivered goods must be unloaded, stored and distributed. Gift cards are inexpensive to transport and are easy to store and distribute. Many Walmart stores are already reopened and listed on their website, as are Lowes and Home Depot, some using generator power.Cards can be distributed by church staff in the partner churches, ensuring priority needs are met. Ask your donor to sign the cards with a sharpie to make them personal.Trained and Untrained Teams SBC credentialed volunteers are first to be assigned. We cannot begin until the home-owner and their insurance have given written approval. Teams closest to the disaster receive the first call up. These volunteers are trained in the safety and process protocols. Consistency allows subsequent teams to be functioning under the same parameters. FEMA/Homeland security is more likely to permit credentialed volunteers to have access to the disaster areas.We are coordinating with host churches to use non-credentialed volunteers. Local training will be provided. Homeowners prefer knowing that the persons removing their sheetrock or trees have experience or training.Disaster Relief Buckets Thank you to Doug at West Mobile Lowe’s for arranging the contents for the Disaster Relief Buckets in one place. Take your list as there are other products there too. The items are located near aisle 8 in the center aisle of the store. A word from Rick Lance, ALSBOM: In this Hurricane Harvey relief update, Disaster Relief Strategist Mark Wakefield answers some of the questions Alabama Baptists are asking about how they can participate in the relief effort. Click on this link to watch it: https://youtu.be/2OVbrAU6D00The post How Can You Participate in Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts? appeared first on SBDR.Watch our FB page for updates https://www.facebook.com/mobilebaptistassociation/.