A Storm of Support in the wake of Hurricane Harvey – updated 9/7
I woke up Tuesday morning of this week with an ache in my heart – and the sense that there must be something more I can do for our brothers and sisters in Texas. Hurricane Harvey, one of the biggest natural disasters to ever hit – with 100’s of thousands impacted is all I could think about.
I had already googled the drive from my home in Loudoun to Houston – at 19+ hours hopping in the car was unreasonable. I had already made my donation to the American Red Cross – and still felt compelled to give more. I looked at my husband and said, “Hey, do you think My Guys will donate a truck?”
From there it took off.
So I have a truck, now what? Now mind you, it wasn’t just any truck – they donated a full blown tractor trailer – and I had to fill it with needed supplies and find a place to bring it. The news was full of stories of how they had more donations than they knew what to with. Piles of clothing sat amidst flood waters, making the problem worse, not better. I did a little brainstorming, drawing on my experience with Hurricane Sandy and the floods of WV in 2016. I knew they absolutely did not need clothes, or any kind of household items – they had no “house” to “hold” them in. I also knew that right now, what they needed more than anything was man power and cash – however in a few weeks those needs would change a bit.
Once the rescue mode was over and the flood waters began to recede it would be time to begin rebuilding. Let’s show up then – hence late September for delivery. What to bring though? In Sandy, it was impossible to find a generator or gas can within 200 miles of the epicenter for weeks. Put those on the list. In WV we were part of the clean up process and had a big need for cleaning supplies, bleach, contractor garbage bags, masks, gloves, water. Added to list. Now where to bring it? This was more challenging and took a few days to coordinate.
Through my network, I obtained access to a list of more than 50 shelters/donation centers in the area. This list was being updated daily, so I cross checked my donation requests with the needs online and made sure the common items were included in mine. I also began calling. “Hi, my name is Gina Tufano and I live in Northern Virginia – I will have a tractor trailer full of supplies to be delivered late September – can you receive them?” About a dozen calls in, I got a hit! Sunnyside Multi Service Center – part of Houston Department of Health and Human Services had the space, said our list was spot on, and boy did they have the need.
In the meantime donations were pouring in and people were signing up as drop off locations quicker than I could update our files. The giving inspired more giving! Lost Rhino will give a 10% discount to anyone who drops off donations, talk of raising funds for a second truck are in the works, a packing and send off party is being planned at My Guys Moving, Pearson Smith Realty has a HUGE contribution in process, and a trip down to help with clean up is being planned.
If you have items to donate, please see the list below – there is also a live google doc here.
Y’all are simply amazing. My heart is overwhelmed with gratitude for your generosity in our Storm of Support! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
A Storm of Support
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, rescue efforts in Texas are underway & OUR Northern Virginia help is needed.
Current needs (9/7):
*Sorry, no clothing or housewares accepted at this time.
- Baby food/formula
- Toiletries: toothbrush, deodorant, toothpaste, over the counter meds (Tylenol, motrin, etc), feminine products, premade hygiene kits (think travel size, grouped together in a Ziploc baggie)
- Cleaning supplies: bleach, mops, buckets, Lysol, heavy duty garbage bags, bug spray, etc
- Bottled water
- Shelf stable food: easy open canned goods, power bars, applesauce pouches, peanut butter, fruit cups, etc
- Plastic storage bins/laundry baskets
- Wheelchairs, canes, medical gloves, masks
- Suitcases, duffel bags, back packs
- Charging cables, power strips, generators, dehumidifiers, fans, heavy duty extension cords & gas cans
- A note of encouragement 💖
Drop off sites:
My Guys Moving (M-F 9-5)
45726 Elmwood Court, Sterling, VA 20166
Ask Gina & Company (M-F 9-5)
Pearson Smith Realty
43777 Central Station Drive #390, Ashburn, VA
Congregation Sha’are Shalom (M-F 10-2)
19357 Evergreen Mills Road, Leesburg, VA
Horizon Elementary School (M-F 8-3)
46665 Broadmore Drive, Sterling, VA 20165
Round Hill Elementary (M-F 8-3)
17115 Evening Star Drive, Round Hill, VA 20141
Lend a Box (M-F 9-3)
4265 D Brookfield Corporate Dr., Chantilly, VA
Evergreen Sportsplex (M-F 9-7, S/S 12-4)
19623 Evergreen Mills Rd, Leesburg, VA 20175
Winwood Children’s Center, Fairfax (M-F 7-6)
12301 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, Fairfax, VA 2
Office of T. Walbridge & W. Gooditis (M-F 10-5)
609 Main St, Unit H, Purcellville, VA 20132
Lost Rhino Brewing Company (12-7, Tues 4-9)
21730 Red Rum Drive, Suite 142, Ashburn, VA
Lost Rhino Retreat (7 days a week 12-9)
22885 Brambleton Plaza, Ashburn, VA 20148
Please call first, donations filling up 540-338-7387
120 East Cornwell Lane, Purcellville, VA 20132
42910 Winkle Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147
8932 Burke Lake Rd, Springfield, VA 22151
First Defense Krav Maga (M-Th 5 -9, Sat 9-1)
291 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon, Va 20170
All donation items need to be in by 9/12. We will be sorting the items and wishing the truck well on the 14th at My Guys in Sterling. If interested in volunteering to help – email firstname.lastname@example.org