Church Volunteer Work


Pictured center, Ariana Chagas takes charge in the children’s room at the West Houston Church of Christ.

Lauren Washington, Reporter

In the West Houston Church of Christ, the rec room is bustling with conversation. Volunteers of all ages and walks of life hurry around the large room, carrying boxes of diapers, donated clothing, and nonperishable food items. Like many of the churches throughout the Houston area, the West Houston Church of Christ received an overabundance of volunteers in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Junior Ariana Chagas is one of these volunteers; she sits on a plastic chair in one of the church’s smaller rooms, directing a group of teenagers on where to place piles of donated clothing. As a longtime member of the church, Chagas felt a sense of duty to help storm victims in any way she could.

“I’ve been a devoted member of this church for most of my life,” Chagas said. “I felt like it was necessary to help, especially for something so close to home.”

Chagas was put in charge of organizing children’s clothing and shoes, which came with a multitude of responsibilities.

“We have to organize blankets, socks, shoes and clothes for the storm victims. Families are able to come in anytime and take whatever they need from the room, though.”

While the church didn’t actually shelter any hurricane victims, it served as a distribution center for donated items. In total, over 600 families came to pick up the supplies they needed.

Giving back to those in need was undoubtedly a memorable experience for Chagas.

“While volunteering here, I met a family who’d lost everything to the flood,” Chagas said. “The mother had a four year old son, and was expecting another child in October. We provided her with everything we could; toiletries, baby supplies, clothing, food and water. There were many other families with similar experiences. It was hard to listen to what they’d gone through, but it was touching to help.”