Hurricane Harvey volunteers from Winston-Salem convene to celebrate outcomes

Lifelong bonds were formed by some of the Hurricane Harvey volunteers that participated in the relief efforts in Houston. Photo by Timothy Ramsey

Hurricane Harvey volunteers from Winston-Salem convene to celebrate outcomes
May 17
14:03 2018

Volunteers who traveled to Houston for relief efforts of Hurricane Harvey gathered together Monday night a First Presbyterian Church for a night of reflection.

The event sought to inform the community of the collaborative humanitarian work of volunteers from the city along with unveiling a documentary of the work done by the volunteers that was captured by Josh Rushing.

The groups involved were Mayor Allen Joines and the city of Winston-Salem, the Ministers’ Conference of Winston-Salem and Vicinity (MCWSV), Baptist Health/Faith-Health Division, Love Out Loud, Offering to a Hungry Nation, First Presbyterian Church and Piedmont International University.

There were actually two trips taken to Houston in 2017. The first trip was in September to help with the clean up efforts and the second was taken in December to help rebuild. Rev. Dr. Lamonte Williams, president of the MCWSV, was one of the individuals that spearheaded the trips.

“This was simply priceless and that is the only thing that I can say,” Williams said. “It reminded me that when we leave this world the only thing that will matter is what you did for someone else.”

“These people’s stories taught me that we saw the benefit of humanitarian work and how they helped us by realizing the real essence of things is things money can’t buy,” he continued. “We saw people who had faith and hope despite losing everything and that renewed and revitalized our faith.”

WXII’s Briana Conner served as Mistress of Ceremony for the event, which included testimonials and a video documentary showing the devastation of the storm as well as rebuilding efforts. The Honorable Judge Denise Hartsfield and the Honorable Judge Carry Vickery also read four proclamations from the Houston area.

Sylvester Turner, mayor of Houston, has also made May 14 Mayor Joines Hurricane Harvey Hero Day. The volunteers lit up as they heard their efforts were honored in such a way by the mayor of Houston.

Jonathan Allen was a volunteer for the second trip in December. He stated he wanted to travel with the team for the first relief efforts but couldn’t, so when he found out a second trip was planned, he jumped at the chance.

“One of the ways I thank God for all he has blessed me with is by helping others who don’t have what I have,” Allen said. “I’m just blessed to be a blessing and I almost feel like it’s a responsibility because when you love the Lord, it’s a responsibility to do something when you can.

“It’s one of those things that motivates you to do even more,” Allen continued. “It’s not a feeling of satisfaction, it’s a feeling of what else we can do because there is more need everywhere especially here in Winston-Salem.”

The Rev. Dr. Peter Barnes, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, stated when he heard about the relief efforts from Dr. Williams, he had a sense that God wanted his church to get involved.

“It’s incredible to see footage and talk to people who were affected by the hurricane. It brings back just how devastating the events really were,” said Barnes. “It kind of takes you back right to the moment by hearing the testimonies you see how lives were changed not only from the devastation but lives are changed now because of the restoration.”





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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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