Harvey’s Wake

A message from VL Gaffney, Headmaster of Serenity House and Founder, August 2017

These past few days have been a whirlwind in the state of Texas, especially the eastern regions that are most impacted by Tropical Storm and Hurricane Harvey. Further northwest, in Austin, I’m watching the news with my Grandmother, a refugee from Seadrift, on the San Antonio Bay. She returns to the coast soon, as the temporary mayor to the town, while theirs is in Africa.

Texas and Louisiana are hurting, are devastated, are in deep. In some places, water has risen inland so much that over-highway signs are eye-level to those in boats, just trying to get through town.

Organizations and companies such as HEB, Salvation Army, and even celebrities like JJ Watt are contributing to the relief efforts and beginning the long process of rebuilding. Camp Oak Hallows would like to help.

In the small way, donations to relief efforts have been made. In a large way, COH would like to pursue plans to build our future facilities in such a way and in such a place that it can serve as a shelter and base of relief efforts for future disasters. In the wake of Harvey, let it be known that a donation of any size to COH is an investment in Texas‘s ongoing work to become moreย prepared. No, no one is ever truly prepared for a disaster. If we were, it wouldn’t be a disaster. And maybe someday, we will be able to say that a hurricane is not so big a deal. But today, now, and for the coming years, Texas needs to work diligently to create a network of support and strength that can hold our communities together when forces of nature meet places of human resilience, such as Houston, and someday, Camp Oak Hallows.

As a residential camp and school fit to house and feed large groups, our campus would serve as an open and ready shelter, and would likely be out of reach of any storm to hit the Gulf Coast. This geographical factor is being taken into consideration by the team to ensure that COH will be the right place at the right time.

Camp Oak Hallows is proudly Texan, and proud to be a part of the amazing community that is this state. Over the coming weeks, we expect to continue to see the signs and displays of human faith and persistence as efforts proceed to heal and regrow the thriving society of Eastern and Coastal Texas.

With love in our hearts and minds,

Camp Oak Hallows

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