Shortly after Hurricane Harvey began to wreak havoc on the Houston area, Mark Miller from Wayside Christian Mission (an organizational member of NACSW based in Louisville, KY) called the NACSW office to ask if we had any connections in Houston. He explained that he had a team of staff and clients (Wayside provides services for people who are homeless) and a truck of supplies that they wanted to send to Houston to help out in any way they could.
The best we could do was to send Mark the names and contact information for two of NACSW members – Kim Parker and Diane Lamberson – who live in the Houston area. I wasn’t even sure whether Kim or Diane had phone or Internet services, so I didn’t know if he would have any success in reaching them. So I was especially delighted to hear back from Mark several days later:
“I just wanted to know that with your help and the information that you provided we sent a team of 18 men from our recovery program to Houston early this morning. They will be working with Houston’s First Baptist Church and Current Christian Church to help prep people’s homes for contractors to rebuild the damaged parts. Thanks again for your help getting this all going.”
Wayside Mission has posted some photos and a recap of the amazing work their crew did in Houston. To check it out, you can go to: http://wcm1.weebly.com/houston-update.html.
But this cool story doesn’t end there. When I posted the above message to NACSW’s Facebook group to share Wayside’s story, Kim Parker, who subscribes to NACSW’s Facebook group, responded with the following post on Facebook:
“Thanks for giving Mark my contact info, Rick! I was glad to be able to provide information, links, and contacts for him so that he was able to find lodging for his crew at HFBC, where I used to attend before I moved. In fact, I had posted about the Wayside Christian group, among a bunch of other good Samaritans, on my blogpage. Welcome to the goodness of humanity, the imago dei, the best of all worlds, and unity in diversity!” To check out Kim’s blogpost, go to: https://www.facebook.com/kimparkerlcsw/posts/1052657624837645
Then to top if off, Diane Lamberson, who also subscribes to the NACSW Facebook group, posted the following message:
“Yes – thanks Rick Chamiec-Case for putting Mark in touch. I also suggested he check in with HFBC since they were coordinating out of town groups. Looks like Kim Parker and I were on the same page! Was very happy to hear it worked out. Much help needed.”
What a joy to see faith making a difference in the work of Christian social workers and social service organizations when it is needed most – and a blessing for 4 different NACSW members from different parts of the country to converge (unwittingly) to play a part!
Kim Parker is a private practice therapist, and also the author of a self-help book, East Meets West: Parenting from the Best of Both Worlds. Kim has been a member of NACSW since 2010.
Rick Chamiec-Case is the executive director of NACSW. Rick has been a member of NACSW since 1987.
Diane Lamberson is a Social Worker for Houston Independent School District at Sutton Elementary School. Diane has been a member of NACSW since 2013.
Mark Miller is the Program Manager for Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville, KY. Wayside Christian Mission is a long-standing organizational member of NACSW.