Area residents find ways to help Hurricane Harvey victims

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As Hurricane Harvey battered the Texas Gulf Coast, many from the Steel Country area watched, wondering how bad it would get, and what they could do to help. As waters began to arise, an amazing outpouring of support from all over began to flood into Houston and other affected areas.

Individuals have been doing what they can, organizing spur of the moment donation drives asking for diapers, school supplies, cleaning supplies, and more to take to affected areas. Men joined forces and traveled with their boats into the flood waters to help rescue anyone they came across.

Churches have also been active, with many gathering supplies and organizing relief trips to deliver any donated items. South Union Missionary Baptist Church offered residents an opportunity to donate to the relief efforts by accepting clothing, dog and cat food, hygiene products, and more from Aug. 30-Sept. 1. A couple from the church then delivered the donations to flood-stricken areas.

First Baptist Church in Cason also accepted donations of water, cleaning supplies, and toiletries. Although their initial trip left on Sept. 4, it will not be the only trip.

“This will be the first of many trips,” said Pastor Scott Darby, “so keep the donations coming.”

The Daingerfield Police Department also accepted donations to be delivered by off-duty police officers into flooded areas.

Even young ones did their best to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Hughes Springs ISD partnered with Highway 80 Mission in Longview to collect non-perishable food items, water, and cleaning supplies to be delivered to those in need. The HSISD will collect donations from Sept. 5-15. Daingerfield-Lone Star ISD held a “Stuff the Bus” campaign on Sept. 2, collecting school supplies, household goods, and cleaning supplies.

Local store owner Autumn Walker, of Top Flight Custom Designs, offered those interested a special Texas Strong t-shirt, with the majority of cost of the shirts going to relief efforts. In less than 24 hours, Walker had orders for 282 shirts.

“I knew I had to do something,” said Walker.

Not everyone who wanted to help had to travel to the devastated area. Local nursing homes operated by Thornton Healthcare have been housing evacuees from flooded areas. Tim Thornton, of Thornton Healthcare, issued a challenge for the Daingerfield, Lone Star, and Hughes Springs areas.

“For every donation given, from diapers to cash, I will match it,” said Thornton through a post on Facebook. Thornton pledged to match up to $10,000.

Residents who still are looking for ways to help are urged to contact one of the entities mentioned in this article to see if donations are still being accepted. Anyone wishing to donate to Thornton Healthcare may call Suzette at 903-960-3173 or Niakesha at 903-285-8058 for more information.

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