There’s nothing like a disaster to make people feel helpless. “What can I do?” we wonder. Most of us don’t have a boat to ferry people out of flooded apartment buildings or lots of expendable cash or time. Yet there are many ways to help that don’t require much of us as individuals. Here are a few of the local efforts under way to help Houston flood victims.
Help The Houston Food Bank Pack Meals and Provide Cleaning Supplies
The Houston Food Bank, at 535 Portwall, needs volunteers to cover shifts packing boxes of food for the needy through the next several days. The shifts are throughout the day and evening, which means even people who work during the day can help. The time slots are Mondays through Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon, 1 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m.
Register to volunteer online or call Van Tran at 713-547-8604. Even kids six years of age and older are welcome to volunteer.
Nonperishable food drop-offs, cleaning supplies such as mop buckets, mops, brooms, Clorox wipes, Clorox, garbage bags and bug spray, and cash donations are also welcome. Donate online at houstonfoodbank.org. When donating food, consider ready-to-eat foods in easy-open containers (like pull-top cans) for maximum convenience.
Help The Cajun Stop Make Food for People in Shelters
Lisa Carnley of The Cajun Stop knows what it’s like to be displaced thanks to disasters like these. She’s giving back to the community now by preparing food and taking it to the M.O. Campbell Center at 1865 Aldine Bender. On Thursday, April 21 at 3 p.m., Carnley needs volunteers to help her make and transport chicken and sausage jambalaya, boudin balls and toast so the victims have a good, hot Cajun meal. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her via Facebook if you can help.
Carnley also suggests reaching out to other shelters that need help. “There's several other centers that need help also. My limit is about 400 people. Wish I could do more.”
Support Mercy Chefs, Who Came to Houston to Feed the Displaced
On Thursday, April 21, the organization Mercy Chefs [a 501(c)(3)] will set up at Salvation Army Northwest Community Church at 12507 Windfern and provide free meals to the needy. The organization has created a donation page specifically for the Texas flood response. People interested in volunteering onsite should visit the information page on the website, view the training video and fill out the release form.
Help Kids Meals, Inc. Provide Extra Meals to Children
Kids' Meals, Inc. delivers daily meals to hungry pre-school-age children in Houston year-round, but has extra-heavy demands right now. While many children are unable to attend school this week and receive their free lunch program, Kids Meals is making efforts to provide additional lunches to their older siblings.
Kids Meals is specifically seeking donations of plastic zip-type storage bags and granola bars, which can be delivered to the organization's facility, located at 330 Garden Oaks.
Cash donations can be made online, and the organization says even a mere $10 will provide meals for five children.
Donate Your Unwanted Clothing
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Clothed By Faith is providing clothing free for the asking to flood victims. Take your unwanted duds to Mason Creek Business Park, 21811 Katy Freeway, Suite D105. The office is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, but there is an after-hours donation bin as well.
If you lost your wardrobe in the flood, you can fill out this online form to request clothing.
Help Flood Victims in The Woodlands by Donating Useful Items
GenuWine at 6503 FM-1488 in The Woodlands is collecting donations of clean linens, clothing, toiletries and nonperishable food through Friday. The items will be redistributed to nonprofit organizations that are directly assisting victims in the area.