Three years ago Houstonians received waves of support from around the country in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, so now the city is calling for folks to return the favor.
From Tuesday, September 1, through Thursday, September 10, Houston’s Health Equity Response Task Force (H.E.R.) is holding a supplies donation drive to help Hurricane Laura victims in East Texas and Louisiana, where last week’s storm is expected to have ultimately caused up to $12 billion* in damages, according to NPR.
The task force has partnered with Kroger, Mattress Mack, and the Relief Gang—a nonprofit started by rapper Trae Tha Truth and DJ Mr. Rogers—to coordinate the efforts.
“After Hurricane Harvey displaced many of our family and friends in 2017, people from other cities and states helped Houston recover by donating their time, money and supplies," Mayor Sylvester Turner wrote in a statement as he urged Houstonians to take part in the drive on Monday. "Today, we are being called to action for our neighbors who were in the path of Hurricane Laura and are now experiencing great suffering and loss. We cannot sit idly by while they are in need."
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This real and unedited footage from yesterday in Deridder, LA. We are a team of volunteers who come out and help others they way we would desire help in their circumstances. Consistently working from Harvey until now, we really only show about 15% of what we do and who we help. The work goes beyond Hurricane Relief. If you have sent an email to volunteer, we will follow up on all requests this week. Thank you for wanting to be a part of the movement. #reliefgang #weareone
The supplies collected will be sent to Port Arthur, Orange, and Beaumont in Texas and Sulphur and Lake Charles in Louisiana, and distributed to residents of those cities whose homes had been damaged or destroyed.
People can take donations to the George R. Brown Convention Center, Gallery Furniture (the main showroom at 6006 North Freeway), and A-Rocket Moving & Storage from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day of the drive. There will also be donation boxes outside of local Kroger locations across the city.
Because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, all donated supplies must be new. Anything used will be discarded. Supplies organizers are asking for include:
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food items
- Personal hygiene items, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, etc.
- Baby supplies, such as diapers, wipes, and formula
- Pet food and supplies
- Cleaning supplies, especially those with bleach
To make a financial contribution, you can donate online here, or write a check addressed to Houston Civic Events, Inc (901 Bagby Street, 1st Floor, Houston, Texas 77002).
The Relief Gang, which caravanned to Louisiana over the weekend to help with cleanup, has set up a GoFundMe for donations. People can donate on the cash app, $reliefgang1, as well. The organization also put out a call Monday for volunteers to help organize supplies at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Learn more here.
Trae Tha Truth summed up why Houstonians should take this opportunity to step up via social media over the weekend. "During Harvey Everyone Helped Us," Trae Tha Truth wrote on Instagram Sunday, "So Its Only Right We Help Them!!" He's not wrong.
*A previous version of this story listed damages as $12 million. It has been corrected.