Memories of Harvey and Impact Mentoring
by Kimberly Miller, Impact member and volunteer
Without the Impact Mentoring program, Hurricane Harvey would have been a lot harder on many people. Weekly visits between mentors and mentees add up over the years and friendships are formed. Those bonds were crucial during Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. The Impact ministers worked tirelessly helping people during and after the storm. Because of mentoring, our family could help also.
We knew exactly what we needed to do during Harvey—connect with the family we knew whose four boys we mentor in the program. They had flooded and, after a brief stay at the George R. Brown Convention Center, were crammed into 2 small motel rooms. We spoke with them about what they needed and when they finally had a place to live in November the church provided beds and many other things to make their house a home.
The four boys we mentor come from a family of ten (8 siblings and 2 parents). Because of Harvey, our friendship now extends beyond the four boys. I’ve laughed, prayed, and worked with their mom. I’ve held their baby sister and spoken to their older siblings about school and future plans. We’re friends now. When we picked the boys up for church on December 24th their mom gave me a gift— a picture frame with the words: “Family, life’s greatest blessing!” She wanted us to put a picture of the four boys we mentor in the frame. I was really touched!
Because of our mentoring connection, our friends could hear what was needed and pray for the family. One generous couple provided them with gas cards to help meet their needs when there were many drives between the motel and the boys’ schools. Some quilting ladies from out of state wanted to help a family affected by Harvey and they made quilts for all the kids in the family.Once, at church, while the family was living in 2 small hotel rooms, Willie gave the boys a lecture about their behavior during the worship service, “You speak to each other without even lowering your voices, you can’t do that, you’re not in your living room, you’re in church.” Emmanuel (11) said, “Mr. Willie, we don’t have a living room.” That was the end of the lecture! Emma (who mentors with us) and I started giggling and so did the boys. Their situation wasn’t funny, but the way the reminder was delivered highlighted how crazy everything was after Harvey.
The bonds formed in Impact’s mentoring program provide mentors (and their friends) with specific ways to help when disaster strikes a family. Bring your ‘loaves & fishes’ to the mentoring program and God will multiply them in surprising ways!