This month has brought about unique challenges for the Christian Service Mission family of volunteers and contributors.  We usually have projects and volunteers planned out months in advance, but this month’s natural disasters led us to rely more heavily on maximum preparation in a minimal amount of time. As soon as Hurricane Harvey was projected to reach Texas, we started preparing the warehouse for the receiving, organizing and shipping of hundreds of thousands of pounds of donations to send to the victims in Texas. Partnering with the City of Birmingham, we collected over 600,000 pounds and have sent 29 trucks of various shapes and sizes to Texas and Florida filled with items needed to rebuild.

With that being said, our list of emergency and short-notice volunteers definitely came into play for the early part of September. We had 250 volunteers from all over taking time off of work and school to work with us in the effort to connect all of these resources God placed in our hands (and in the warehouse) with the needs created by this disaster. Churches sent their staff members, youth leaders, and pastors. Businesses sent their employees. Parents brought their kids.  The warehouse has been in non-stop motion for the last two weeks with volunteers unloading donations from trucks, sorting items in our warehouse, and loading them back onto trucks to send out to multiple cities in Texas.

We collected over 600,000 pounds and have sent 29 trucks of various shapes and sizes to Texas and Florida filled with items needed to rebuild.

The relief response has been a beautiful demonstration of how CSM connects resources with needs in a Gospel-centered and Gospel-focused way.  Families, organizations, churches and individuals donated tangible resources like canned goods, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, and money. Individuals that had available time or those that decided to make time to help others showed up to lend a hand. Truck drivers and owners of trucking companies donated tractor-trailers, 18-wheelers, and whatever else they had to bring to our warehouse. The donations were transported to Texas and distributed to the churches, faith-based organizations, families and individuals that needed them most. And now we are doing it all over again in Florida.

God is an awesome God and his servants are some awesome people!  Thank you all for your donations and support that help us reach people affected most by these storms as they seek to start life anew in the midst of tribulation and devastation.Please contact us if you would like to assist with the remaining disaster relief work we are coordinating and resourcing.

Donors have come from corporations, individuals, families, and even children collecting supplies to help out. They have driven from Huntsville and Talladega in rented trucks, borrowed vehicles, and even horse trailers. Whatever they could find to deliver supplies here! We are honored to receive these supplies and want to be good stewards of all that was collected with care and brought here. We tried to capture all the smiling faces but missed many because so many donations were coming in. What a blessing! Here are some of the people who helped collect and transport donations to CSM!