A Texas-Sized Thank You

Dear Garden District Friends and Neighbors:

I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your outpouring of help for Hurricane Harvey victims.

My husband and I drove a 26 foot truck yesterday to Texas that was completely packed with your generous donations. We coordinated with county judges and commissioners in Orange County, Texas (east of Houston) to do a half day of distribution to first responders who lost homes and the rest of the day driving through hard hit flooded neighborhoods distributing from the back of the truck.

As you can imagine, it was a very emotional day. I had many, many people fall into my arms and sob as we handed the boxes to them. Every single box or gift card went directly into the hands of a family who needed it, including a family of seven pulling out drywall with their bare hands. We spent almost 14 hours criss crossing the county with county officials yesterday and did not see any other help – no FEMA, no Red Cross, no church groups. I guess those organizations are focusing on Houston. Neighbors are helping each other with what they have but we spent the day in an area of roughly 500 houses and the contents of every single house + cars is a full loss and some of the county is still under water.

We had to stop our distribution as it got dark but we will be going back once a week to the same community for the next three weeks. The number one requested disaster relief supply was laundry detergent so if you’d like to donate unopened powdered laundry detergent in any size box, I would gratefully accept it to take on the next shipment.

Again, thanks so much for your friendship and trust during this crazy hurricane season. I know I speak for everyone in wishing the best possible outcome for Florida today and I feel grateful we were spared the hit from these two giant storms.

Annie Strain
1424 4th Street