In true Lubbock spirit, churches here in the Hub City are starting to band together and gather up money for relief efforts overseas. Trinity Church, for one, has already decided to give money from its international outreach fund. Also, NewsChannel 11 found a local charitable organization called Operation H.O.P.E. (Healing Outreach of People Everywhere) is taking up their own collection. Doctor John Thomas says, "We mainly do medical mission work and have inner city mentoring programs. We do public reachouts all the time. We've been to India a couple of times."
Now, India needs Operation HOPE's help more than ever. The small organization, founded by Dr. Thomas about five years ago, can't muster enough doctors to offer their medical services immediately, so they're asking Lubbock residents to come through with monetary donations. Thomas says, "I think the best thing we can do in Lubbock is to raise money and send it to local charitable organizations in the midst of the crisis."
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Dr. Thomas has plenty of connections in South India. He has done charitable work there before and not to mention, his parents are from South India. They were not affected by this tragedy, but are waiting to hear word on friends. Thomas says, "There are a couple of churches my dad knows about, they have not gotten word. They're trying to contact them but haven't been able to reach them yet. We don't know."
In the meantime, Dr. Thomas is taking matters into his own hands and putting together efforts to fund food, drinking water, shelter and healthcare for those devastated by the natural disaster, the likes of which haven't been seen in decades. Dr. Thomas says, "We all will play a big role in reconstructing that part of the world and the little things we do, every dollar, every penny counts and when people have lost everything, what little we do is going to make a great impact."
Lubbock Families Impacted by Tsunami
Dr. Thomas says once some order is restored in effected areas, donations of other kinds will be encouraged as well. In the meantime, money is most helpful. He expects in five to six months he and a group of doctors will volunteer to provide relief to medical workers who are currently providing medical services.
If you'd like to make a donation to Operation H.O.P.E., checks may be sent to:
3502 9th Street. Suite 160
Lubbock, Texas, 79415.
Donations are tax deductible.