Weeks after Texas communities were ravished by Hurricane Harvey, several churches from the National Capital Baptist Convention D.C., backed by several youth members, packed bags filled with food and clothing and put them on a donated truck Oct. 14 in an effort to support relief efforts in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

Local clergy and members and youth packed supplies for Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas. (photo credit: Southern Friendship Missionary Baptist Church)

Even though Harvey made landfall on Aug. 25, many people still remain in need of basic essentials such as drinking water and clothing.

The effort was led by the convention’s President, the Rev. Charles McNeill, with a help from Southern Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Temple Hills, Md., which served as the drop off point for supplies.

“This was a great learning experience for our youth,” Rev. Weldon Fields, a pastor at Southern Friendship, told the AFRO. “Most of what has been done has been done by our members. We wish we had gotten greater participation, but this has been great.”

Fields, McNeill and their more than 50 supporters worked from early morning to late in the evening stuffing boxes and filling a truck that left for Houston shortly after 7 p.m.

“I think all of the youth learned a valuable lesson about helping others in need,” McNeill told the AFRO. “We have filled with relief items such as diapers, water, perishable food. It was a last minute effort, but a good effort. We hope to continue this work. I think it’s very important that we come together and help each other in a time of need.”

Jerry, 15, one of the youth who turned out for the event, said he came to earn some community service hours, but said the experience was well worth it.

“We take a lot of things for granted,” he told the AFRO. “You can be here and gone tomorrow. A lot of those people lost everything they had. We all are praying that they recover and get back on their feet. I am happy to take a part in this effort. When people look back in the years to come, I can say that I helped out.”