“They are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” 2 Corinthians 8:2
The Episcopal Community Health Services (ECHOS) is an outreach ministry of the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in southwest Houston. Cathy Moore, the Director at ECHOS, knows that people who come to the agency are trying to stabilize and improve their lives in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Even now, months after the storm, folks are rebuilding lives, homes and communities.
CWS “found us”, said Cathy. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Church World Service provided CWS Cleanup Buckets and cash grants to help with the cleanup process. In addition, Church World Service provided disaster response plan training for ECHOS staff, church leaders and other interested community leaders.
Church World Service provided CWS Blankets to distribute to families in need. “We know that many congregations host a CWS Blanket Sunday. I want you to know because of your efforts, we can hand out blankets to families in the Houston area during the cold snaps this winter. Many of the families lost all their linens and blankets during the hurricane. Therefore, these blankets have been so much more precious this year,” said Cathy.
ECHOS provides many services to their clients. “Yesterday a client – very pregnant – came in. I noticed she picked up a business card from our domestic abuse prevention partner,” Cathy said. After speaking to her, Cathy and the staff decided to give her a $100 Walmart gift card. “We call the cards our ‘you know it when you see it gift cards’ because you know it when you see someone in need,” Cathy continued, “The cards are another gift from Church World Service.”
Ana, a client at ECHOS, is thankful for the support her family receives, “I am thankful for the health care my mother receives at ECHOS,” said Ana. “When someone walks through the door they know that they will be received with kindness.”
Church World Service staff member, Kevin Murphy visited with the staff members at ECHOS earlier this year. “While traveling to Houston from Austin on a cold, rain-soaked day, my energy level was on the low side for the ECHOS visit. But during the visit, I realized the new ECHOS-CWS partnership matches the best of local care-giving with the resources that CWS can offer. The staff invited me to their 7:30 a.m. meeting. From that point and throughout the day, it was obvious that each ECHOS staffer and volunteer was filled with enthusiasm, compassion and a willingness to work hard. One staffer said that it was like CWS ‘had dropped from heaven’ to help ECHOS in the overwhelming days and months after Hurricane Harvey.”
In 2017 alone, congregations like yours enabled CWS to distribute over 243,942 blankets and kits. Together, we can provide blankets and so much more to many people around the world. Thanks!