The Rio Texas Conference encompasses the southern regions of Texas. Extending from Austin in the north, to the Rio Grande Valley in the south and from San Angelo in the west to the Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Harvey 2017- 2020
Our efforts are currently focused in the 17 counties impacted in the Crossroads and Coastal Bend Districts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Your support is needed through financial and material donations, and volunteer teams to assist with cleanup and rebuilding!
Hubs include Aransas Pass, Victoria, La Grange, and Columbus. Teams are also needed in Bastrop. Please see below for steps on how to get signed up and the process for bringing a team!
Summer Flooding 2018-2019
Summer flooding impacted several counties in the Rio Grande Valley. An UMCOR grant has been submitted. Upon funding, a case manager and construction project manager will be hired to address mitigation needs for a limited number of clients. Volunteer teams will be needed.
FALL FLOODING 2019
FALL RAINS HAVE IMPACTED SONORA, JUNCTION, AND THE LLANO RIVER THAT IMPACTED KINGSLAND, MARBLE FALLS, LAKE TRAVIS AND AUSTIN. REQUESTS FOR ERTS HAVE BEEN ISSUED FOR SEVERAL OF THESE LOCATIONS AND INITIAL PLANNING FOR LONG TERM RECOVERY IS UNDERWAY.
What are the steps to volunteer?
Step 1: Complete the ERT or Long Term Recovery interest form with your basic team info and potential dates. You will then be contacted within a few days or maybe a week to discuss available housing for your dates. Once confirmed you can move to step 2.
Step 2: Begin meeting with your team to prepare their hearts and minds for service, as well as complete all the paperwork!
Any ERT forms will come from Jim Street and should be returned to him.
Long term recovery forms are available on the "Forms" page under the "Serve" button. The team lead will collect all the completed forms, add the cover sheet with proof of background checks and safety training and must return no later than two weeks before your arrival date. This assists the local staff in preparing for your arrival. Once the forms are returned it will generate contact to the team lead from the housing host and the construction supervisor. If you have not heard from anyone it may be because you have not submitted your completed forms yet.
Step 3: Please be sure to note all the requirements for background checks and safety training.
If your team is from within the Rio Texas Conference, please complete the "Safe Gatherings" process for your background check and the "Trusted con Confianza" process for safety training. Every team must have 2:8 members safety trained. More info is at www.riotexas.org/safe.
If your team is from outside of the Rio Texas Conference we will recognize your conference's background check process and safety training. The requirements however remain the same - all team members must be background checked and the ratio of 2:8 safety trained still stands. Please provide a list from your district or conference office verifying proof of passed background checks and safety training certification.
Step 4: Prepare what you are planning to bring:
Bedding - note your housing location and what they offer.
Tools. Bringing your own tools is very helpful. We have outfitted a tool trailer for each of the Sinton and Victoria hubs, but depending on how many volunteers are in the area on active sites, sharing tools can be challenging. Learn more at https://riotexasresponse.org/tools/.
Fees - $10 per person per night in the volunteer villages. $75 suggested donation per person for materials.
Step 5: The week before your arrival confirm with Vicki McCuistion about any potential changes. At this point you should have heard from the Construction Supervisor and local host. If not, please let us know.
Step 6: Arrive - Unload and settle in.
Step 7: Work - A brief safety training will happen prior to your departure to job sites. Be sure to hydrate, use sunblock and bug spray and take care of yourselves!
Step 8: Play - be sure to figure in some time for enjoying local sites and restaurants. It is good to support the local economy!
Step 9: Depart for home. Travel safely! You go with our prayers and incredible gratitude!
Step 10: Evaluate - a link to a google survey will be shared with you after your trip. Please share with your team members for feedback. We also invite you to share any pictures or stories from your trip!