After Harvey: Help St. Christopher!

Hi, I'm Michelle Pham. I am the Music Director at St Christopher Catholic Church and I also help our school with whatever I can. Coming back after an anxiety filled week my heart broke seeing what Hurricane harvey did to our school. I created this account in hopes that together, we could rebuild our school to be the loving place it once was. Here is our story: 

Established in 1939, St. Christopher Catholic School is an inner-city non-profit catholic school in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. Serving 188 students from PreK to 8th grade, St. Christopher represents a diverse community that provides for students throughout the Houston area.

Like many Houstonians, our faculty and staff prepared the school for the arrival Hurricane Harvey. We unplugged our technology, covered materials, and  moved items to higher ground, away from the windows. We thought we were ready. Our school weathered many hurricanes and tropical storms; however, Harvey was the storm that our school could not withstand.

Anxious to check the impact of Harvey on the school, we were stranded for days in our homes since many roads were impassable. Once the flood waters receded, we were able to safely go to the school. Our hearts sunk from the aftermath of Harvey. Ceilings collapsed in several rooms; water seeped into the walls of our school damaging furniture, books and supplies.  

Our wind and water damage includes:

- Two of our elementary classrooms with collapsed ceilings that collapsed, damaged teacher materials and classroom rugs.
- Ceiling water damage throughout the rest of our elementary school and Junior high with water pooled in and through the ceiling and the windows resulting in falling ceiling tiles
- Several Floor tiles becoming loose.
- The ceiling in the Junior High building looks wavy, almost like it warped as well as whiteboards and one exit door.
- Ceiling tiles also collapsed in the AV room and we are still checking to see if our technology works.
- The wooden shelves are warped or be ruined along with any materials that were on the shelves as a result of water seeping through the windows in both the elementary school and junior high
- Shelves, pianos, teacher materials, and classroom libraries had water damage.
- Our fine arts music and art teachers have lost materials due to water damage.
Thus for the safety of our youngest students, we moved the elementary school to the middle school building.

In addition, several of our student families experienced varying levels water in their homes. Some a few inches, others a few feet, and yet others had the whole first story covered in water. Many had wind and water damage with collapsed ceilings.  

Over the past few days in collaboration with wonderful volunteers and school staff, we cleaned the school in preparations for the students. However, the recovery process is still in its infancy stage and we still need help.

With these funds we hope to rebuild our school. If the Lord has called you to help our school in any way, please harden not your hearts. We appreciate any support that you can offer our school. May the Lord bless you abundantly.

We are all blessed to be alive and trust that the Lord will guide us through this difficult time.

Thank you for your support and concern. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we recover from Harvey's aftermath.

Psalm 46: 2-4

2 God is our refuge and our strength,

an ever-present help in distress.

3 Thus we do not fear, though earth be shaken

and mountains quake to the depths of the sea,

4 Though its waters rage and foam

and mountains totter at its surging.


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Michelle Pham 
Houston, TX
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