Iconnect Outreach is a faith-based organization that has been working in Hardin County since Harvey hit the area. They are working with people whose homes have been damaged by Harvey by cleaning them out and rebuilding.
They are set up in Hardin County currently and focused on recovery in that area. However, they will set up wherever needed. The plan is to stay in Hardin County for two years.
The group depends on donations and volunteers in order to serve this community. Donations can be made on their web site at
www.iconnectoutreach.org. “Donations are our life blood. Without donations, we can’t stay,” said Billy Graff, founder of Iconnect Outreach.
Graff founded Iconnect Outreach in 2008 after Hurricane Ike hit Texas. At the time, he was pastoring a church in Galveston.
On average, the group has around 30-40 volunteers each week working on the homes that are registered with them. So far, they have completed 68 projects.
During Spring Break, they worked with a group of students from Howard University on two houses in Lumberton that needed to be cleaned out. “They were having a blast with their radio blaring, working and singing, talking with the families and giving them encouragement,” said Graff.
Iconnect does not have any more homes on their list right now that need to be cleaned out and they are caught up with that phase of recovery. Graff said they have had over 100 families on their list that have been cleaned out and are in the rebuilding process. They have 32 complete rebuilds in process, starting construction from scratch. “We’ve helped over 68 families get back in their homes,” said Graff.
Prior to running Iconnect, Graff worked in real estate and did some development work. He has been a pastor for the last 20 years for churches around the state. “I’m a working preacher,” he said.