Polk County Publishing Company, P.O. Box 1267, Livingston, TX. 77351 - (936) 327-4357

San Jacinto News Times - Local News

Copyright 2017 - Polk County Publishing Company


Helping a family in crisis


By Megan Whitworth

he nonprofit organization iServe365 is needing the community's assistance in helping one local couple rebuild their lives. Shepherd residents Michelle Walker and Troy Dempsey are a family in crisis, said Darla Redwine, president of iserve365. "Troy is Michelle's full time caregiver and is unable to work. Michelle has had two strokes in the last few months. She is left without the ability to speak," Redwine said. "...They are not legally married so it is hard for him to help her because she is unable to speak, and he cannot make decisions or provide information for her." The couple was also left with devastation after Hurricane Harvey hit in late August. Darla reported the couple suffered roof damage, water leakage, and water damage on the floor of their RV they are currently staying in. "Their living conditions are sad. The inside of the RV is clean, and Michelle is obviously well taken care of," Redwine said. "Kim (iserve365 Vice President Kim Glawson) and I went unannounced when we visited, and she was clean and taken care of given their situation. They were denied FEMA. She cannot get a new Lone Star card for food stamps, because he cannot speak for her. She does not receive SSI or disability. They are trying to get some of those things started for her, but it's hard because he cannot legally make decisions for her." Recently, Redwine put a call-out on Facebook to help raise funds for the couple because their water was disconnected. Walker and Dempsey needed $375 to reconnect it. Within hours of the call-out, iserve365 received $300 to go towards the needed funds. "The community can help by giving to iserve365 in goods - food, laundry soap and toiletries. Or, donate money and we can purchase what Troy and Michelle need as those come up," Redwine said. "I think it would be neat if someone had a RV they were going to sell that they could donate it to iserve365 and receive a tax receipt for it. Then we could give it to Troy and Michelle." Community members can also donate to iserve365 on their website at iserve365.org and click 'Give.' Checks can be also sent by mail to: 2104 FM 2097, Chester, Texas, 75936. The nonprofit organization was founded this fall after Harvey hit. Redwine, along with other volunteers, set up a shelter later turned into a distribution center at Camp TaKuLa in Chester. TaKuLa has returned to normal business, but volunteers have continued helping families in need. Redwine said the nonprofit received its 501c3 status in October. "We started iserve365 because we saw families who needed more than just a few meals and toiletries. They needed temporary housing; they needed people to help them clean out their homes. They need help rebuilding their homes. These people lost everything even their vehicles. They don't even have tools to clean out or rebuild. They do not even have a lawn mower," Redwine said. "People can join us and volunteer. They can give us money and we will help as many people as we can. They can donate building supplies, furniture, cars, RVs. We can make use of anything people are willing to give us." This fall, iserve365 volunteers were able to help a young boy named Abraham who lived in Puerto Rico with his brother and mother when they were hit by Hurricane Maria . He had cancer and had not eaten in three days when Redwine said the organization was alerted of his condition. The nonprofit helped coordinate a plane to pick up the young boy and his family to bring them to the United States for Abraham's treatment. "There is also a family we found living in a state park in tents. The grandmother was a double amputee, diabetic and on dialysis two times a week. The young couple have three small children and a baby on the way,"Redwine said. "Their home in Beaumont flooded and their hotel voucher ended. They had no place to turn but camping, sadly there are a lot of families camping in tents. Through our friends and family we raised enough money to get them into a rental place and a car for them to get grandmother to and from dialysis." Redwine said she has cried many times because there are so many people who need assistance in Texas. "All judgements have to be put to the side because we are called to take the gospel to everyone. They are people just like you and I," Redwine said. "If we want to see change in our communities we must be the change. We cannot continue to live in our comfy homes pretending that problems do not exist. We need to get out and be the hands and feet of Christ."


Polk County Publishing Company