Center of Hope handling relief

LIVINGSTON – In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Center of Hope is now coordinating Polk County’s relief efforts for those affected by the storm’s flood. Located at 600 S. Washington in Livingston, the center is the centralized location for donations, financial assistance and help with flooded homes moving forward.

County Judge Sydney Murphy said, “Center of Hope has literally been a Godsend to the community during this disaster. They have provided assistance during the entire time and are prepared to continue. We look forward to a continuous, solid partnership between the center and county.”

A partnership between many local churches, the Center of Hope was formed to meet the physical and spiritual needs of Polk County’s citizens. In the past, the center has concentrated its efforts on food and education. However, with the damage caused by the recent storm, the center has now shifted its immediate focus to include clothing, cleaning supplies and helping with the clean up effort.

“We want the people of Polk County to know that there is hope in the midst of their storm,” said Jim Mayland, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church and president of the Center of Hope. “We want them to know that the church…not just a church, but the church as a whole…is ready to be the hands and feet of Christ to those who are hurting.”

Those whose homes were damaged due to flooding are encouraged to contact the center at 936-327-7634. Forms are available to help assess the damage so that teams can be mobilized to help with recovery and clean up efforts. Teams have already been clearing out flood-damaged homes in several communities in the county.

Gloria Barber, director of the Center of Hope, has been overwhelmed by the response of the community so far.

“The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well in Polk County,” Barber said. “We have had more than 1,500 volunteer hours in just the first two days. They have been sorting clothing and bedding, packing food bags, answering phones, spending time with those that have been affected and doing what they can for those in need.”

Financial assistance for those affected by Harvey may be available through Campaign 300, which is a part of the Center of Hope. All financial donations made to the center through Campaign 300 will go to assist projects and recovery in Polk County.

The Center of Hope will be open to assist flood victims from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-5 p.m. on Sundays. Regular food bank hours will remain Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m., and 5:30-7:30 p.m. the second Thursday of each month.

Those who would like to volunteer or find out more information about how their church can partner with Center of Hope, are invited to stop by during operating hours or call 936-327-7634.