Looking Back at 2020: Over 500 Congregations Are Willing to Respond

In 2020...

  • Over 500 participating congregations and local organizations have registered for the Willing & Able program

  • New coalitions have been formed and communities have been positively impacted by the growth

Now, are you willing to respond?

What is Willing & Able?

Is Your Congregation Willing & Able to Respond to Disaster?

Our Willing & Able program exists to help congregations prepare for disaster and coordinate their response with other congregations in their community.

Why Should Congregations Get Ready?

Readiness is Biblical As proverbs says, “a wise person plans ahead.” Readiness is Essential Disaster response agencies cannot do it all. Often, the “hole” in disaster response is simply people caring for their neighbors – the very thing God’s people are called to do. Readiness is Transformational Disaster response ministry opens doors to loving our neighbors that happen no other way and can powerfully transform both receivers and givers, congregations, and entire communities.

How Can Your Congregation Get Ready?

Step 1: Willing to Respond to Disaster

Affirm that your congregation is willing to respond when disaster strikes by registering at www.WillingToRespond.org.

Step 2: Able to be in Regular Communication

Identify a point of contact, or Disaster Response Coordinator (DRC). This enables your congregation to be in communication, the most critical element of disaster response. (You do not need a DRC to register.)

Step 3: Ready to Serve When Disaster Strikes

Consider how your congregation will serve when disaster strikes. Your local disaster response coalition can help you get ready.

This video is a brief overview of the Willing & Able program to be shared with your congregation's leaders and other congregations in your community. Our collective ability to respond to disaster improves greatly as more congregations participate.

REGISTER FOR READINESS DOWNLOAD the Willing & Able Printable Overview and visit www.WillingtoRespond.org!

Over 500 Participating Churches and Local Organizations

As of this year, Houston Responds has over 500 congregations and community organizations that participate in the Willing & Able program. These hundreds of churches are responding to crises in their communities and making a strong and lasting impact.

After registering with the program, congregations are encouraged to identify a member to the role of Disaster Response Coordinator (DRC). The DRC is the central point of contact between the coalition and your congregation and helps ensure effective communication.

“It is more blessed to give than receive. I do think God has prepared good works for us to do in advance. We just need to respond to His call, and step forward and do them." - Bill Ford, FPC Kingwood DRC

Bill Ford has gone through the DRC training and is now the active DRC for First Presbyterian Church Kingwood. In this interview, he describes his experience with the Willing & Able program and gives details on how his church was better prepared to respond and best help their community during Winter Storm Uri.

Impact of the Willing & Able Program

Congregations Coming Together

Churches and local organizations have come together in times of crisis. Whether it is a tropical storm, hurricane, pandemic, or food crisis, these organizations are partnering to take care of the communities around them. Below we are sharing two stories of how a local coalition was formed in 2020 and how another coalition was able to bring a family safely back home.

HR Central Forms in Response to 2020 Crisis

"When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, churches in central Houston recognized the need for collaboration to effectively respond to the crises in their community. So, in April of 2020, South Main Baptist Church, City Church, First Presbyterian Church, Houston's First Baptist Church - Downtown, and St. John's Downtown Houston began championing the formation of Houston Responds Central Coalition.

Central Houston is highly diverse both ethnically and socio-economically, so local church leaders knew that it would be essential for the coalition to accurately reflect their diversity to best serve their community." .....continue reading on our blog HERE.

Meet the Villegas Family

"When the Villegas family surveyed their home's destruction following Hurricane Harvey, they never imagined that it would be 905 days before they would be back in their home.

Craig and Angela Villegas lived in their home with their four young children for about a year and a half before Hurricane Harvey. Like so many homes in the Houston Area, theirs' would fall victim to the devastating flood brought by Harvey"...continue reading on our blog HERE.

Is Your Congregation Willing to Respond?

If your congregation has not yet registered for the Willing & Able Congregational Disaster Readiness Program, please visit www.WillingToRespond.org and register today. Registering will connect you with your local coalition and other congregations in your area to help maximize preparation and coordination in the event a response to disaster is needed.

Please reach out to other congregations you know and encourage them to register.


Help Us Engage Congregations in Readiness!

Promo Resources You Can Use

Available in Spanish and English

To execute a coordinated and comprehensive response to crisis in our communities, we must have as many congregations as possible working together through the Willing & Able program.

We have developed promotional resources for denominations, associations, and local government officials to use to invite congregations to participate. Together we can dramatically improve Greater Houston's ability to respond to future disasters.

Available: Logos, Promotional Videos, Social Media Graphics, Website Graphics, E-mail Templates, and MORE.

Access Resources Here!

This E-News was sent on May 5, 2021

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More on the "Looking Back at 2020" series HERE.