In the weeks after Hurricane Ike came through and devastated Galveston Island and the surrounding communities, Erin Cox, a Katy resident and member of Grace Fellowship went to Galveston to check on her sister and family who lived on the island. She was heartbroken when she saw the total devastation with her own eyes, she felt God’s calling to do something. She knew that her nephew’s school, O’Connell Senior High, in Galveston had been badly damaged as had many of the homes of other students who attend the school.
Unsure of what one person could do, she decided to just start where she could. Erin consulted Diane Walker, Executive Director at CompassionKaty.org and a Clothing, Towels and Book drive for the school was begun. Cornerstone Presbyterian and The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch agreed to be drop off locations for the week of October 6-12, accepting donations of used clothing and towels, books, gift cards and monetary donations that would go directly to the students and families at O’Connell Senior High.
The response was overwhelming! When CompassionKaty.org Executive Director, Diane Walker started to load up the donations to deliver on Tuesday 10/14, it was more than one truck could hold! God provided yet again, when Eric Boyd, a local Super Hero/Fire Fighter stepped up and offered the use of his covered trailer to transport the bags and boxes down to Galveston. CompassionKaty.org volunteers filled that trailer up to the top and headed out to O’Connell Senior High.
Upon arrival with the trailer, they were met by school principal Patrick Danesi and the school’s football team who unloaded the truck and trailer. As she talked with the school’s principal, more of the story unfolded. The school is a private high school that is affiliated with the Galveston-Houston Catholic Diocese, this means that the Diocese provides the building, but the school must operate as their own entity; they provide no funding for operations for the school. The school’s big annual fundraiser which has brought in thousands of dollars in past years was scheduled for the weekend that Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston- they are still in the process of figuring out the if and when they will be able to reschedule this big event. They have also lost many students, as many homes, jobs and businesses were lost on the island, their student population has dwindled. In the midst of all this, their focus remains on helping the families of their students and the residents of the island.
This is just another picture of how wide spread and varied the impact that Hurricane Ike has made on the Texas Gulf Coast. CompassionKaty.org is continuing to reach out and help where we can, from working with C.O.R.E./IkeAssist.org to continuing to accept monetary and gift card donations for Galveston Island residents. You can continue to make a huge difference by helping out in any way you can, big or small, every little thing can be used to demonstrate God’s love for His people.