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USA: Campaign to help hurricane survivors in Texas

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Hurricane Ike was the third most destructive hurricane to make landfall in US history, hitting Galveston, Texas on September 9, 2008. Today, one year later, needs still abound for storm survivors, but funds to meet these needs are in short supply.

"I visited Galveston in October to tour the damaged areas from 2008's Hurricane Ike," said Christian Reformed World Relief Committee's Director of Disaster Response, Bill Adams. "I was amazed at the unmet needs that remain after over a year's time."

In fact, many of the more than 16,000 homes that were severely damaged by Ike are still unrepaired. This is, in part, because 5,000 of those homes were owned by families in poverty, who lacked adequate insurance or savings to pay for repairs on their own. Today, those families are living in trailers or other temporary accommodations while they wait for help. Some families are even living in their damaged homes despite mould and other risks in the damaged property. Unfortunately, assistance for these disaster survivors has not been swift in arriving.

"Ike landed during the U.S. presidential campaign, and just prior to Congress approving the original $700 billion banking industry bailout," explained Adams. "Within days, the third most destructive hurricane in U.S. history went off the radar. The media and most of the country pretty much forgot about it. But the citizens of Texas certainly didn't-and neither has CRWRC."

CRWRC is hoping to raise enough money to open a construction site in Galveston for the next two years. They will send teams of trained volunteers to this site to repair and rebuild homes for vulnerable families. Adams estimates that $250,000 will be needed to cover expenses.

"We deeply appreciate anything that people or churches can do to help," said Adams.