Outside Greater Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Northeast Houston, the building looks to be in good shape. It’s a stark contrast to what the church’s facility looks like inside.
“You can actually see on this wall, the flood line,” says Brandon Baird, pointing to a spot on an interior wall. “You can see the grass still sitting there.”
The water line is still on that wall four months after Harvey filled the building with several feet of water. As a result, the walls inside the church’s sanctuary, immunization clinic and daycare center are covered in mold.
“It was devastating,” says Pastor John Banks.
He says his congregation tried to fix what Harvey had damaged, but it was overwhelming.
“We used money, but we ran out of money,” Banks says. “It’s a day-by-day thing, week by week.”
Now some helping hands are pitching in.
“We respond to tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes and flooding,” says Baird, a volunteer with All Hands and Hearts.
The organization brings in volunteers like Baird from all over the world to help all over the world. It’s staffing seven projects right now in Peru, Nepal, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Texas.
“We go in with volunteers and do muck and guts, which is removing the drywall, insulation and all the debris, then we go in and sanitize,” explains Baird.
In less than two days, the non-profit’s team has gutted the daycare center, getting it ready for new drywall and fresh paint. Thanks to those efforts, Pastor Banks says he’s hopeful his congregation will return to the building in the next 30 days.
“It means so very much to us,” he adds.
To learn more about All Hearts and Hands, click here.
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