BERLIN – As recovery efforts continue in Texas and along the Gulf Coast region, Delmarva businesses, nonprofits and residents are finding ways to assist areas devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
On Tuesday, the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) activated its Disaster Relief Fund. The nonprofit will match the first $5,000 in donations and all contributions will go directly to the Greater Houston Community Foundation’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. Additionally, an anonymous donor advisor to CFES has pledged a $25,000 match in donations.
Erica Joseph, the foundation’s president, said the emergency fund is a way to encourage Lower Shore residents to support hurricane victims and to ensure contributions make it to the hands of those in need.
“That administrative piece is something we are good at and can ease those burdens and concerns,” she said.
In recent years, CFES has used the Disaster Relief Fund to support recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy and, locally, when a fire destroyed the Worcester County Developmental Center in 2007.
Joseph said the fund has collected $260,000 for various disaster relief efforts in the past.
“The Lower Eastern Shore is tremendously generous,” she said. “We are always amazed by the outpouring of support from people here.”
Joseph said CFES received its first donation within five minutes of sharing the donation link on social media this week.
Joseph encourages the community to give through an organization of their choice, but warns of phone calls and solicitations that ask for credit card information.
“It’s a challenge for those looking for safe place to contribute,” she said. “We want people to contribute, but we urge them to be cautious.”
Contributions to the Disaster Relief Fund should be mailed to Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Disaster Relief Fund, 1324 Belmont Avenue, Suite 401, Salisbury, MD 21804 or online at www.cfes.org/donate.
In Ocean City, the Knights of Columbus Ocean City Council #9053 will host a breakfast on Sunday, Sept. 3, to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Joe Gangi, the Council’s Grand Knight, encouraged anyone to attend. The breakfast will take place from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall behind St. Luke’s Church on 99th Street.
“Come one, come all, and bring your appetites,” he said.
In another example, Shamrock Realty in Ocean Pines has initiated a children’s clothing drive to assist residents in the storm-ravaged areas, many of whom evacuated or were rescued with only the wet clothes on their backs.
“We’re organizing a children’s clothing drive for the victims of Hurricane Harvey,” said Shamrock Realty’s Traci Kerrigan this week. “We’re collecting new or gently used clothing for school-aged children in the region because we know when the water recedes and things start slowly returning to normal, the kids will eventually have to go back to school and many of them don’t have anything other than the clothes they were wearing when the storm hit.”
Those with children’s clothes for donation can drop them off at Shamrock Realty’s Ocean Pines office at 11049 Racetrack Road each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Shamrock Realty will partner with the American Red Cross to distribute the children’s clothing to the victims.
“Those who don’t have children or children’ clothes to donate are welcome to participate in other ways,” said Kerrigan. “We will gladly be accepting donations of underwear and socks from anyone else who wants to help but doesn’t have children’s clothes to donate.”
The Shamrock Realty clothing drive for the victims of Hurricane Harvey opened today, Friday, Sept. 1, and will run through Saturday, Sept. 17.
In Ocean City, the Original Greene Turtle is partnering with Red Sun Custom Apparel to donate 1,000 Greene Turtle T-shirts to the Joshua House Ministries on Friday. The T-shirts, along with other donations collected through the ministry, will be sent to Texas. Those interested in having items delivered to Joshua House Ministries can bring them to the Original Greene Turtle Apparel Shop by 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 1.
Poultry businesses on Delmarva are also suppling in-kind donations.
On Thursday, 40,000 pounds of chicken from Allen Harim Foods made its way from Harbeson, Del., to Houston, according to Public Relations Director Cathy Bassett. The chicken will be donated to Operation BBQ Relief, an organization that has mobilized and is on the ground in Texas feeding first responders and those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The truck will arrive in Houston on Saturday.
In addition, Perdue Farms has donated 20 truckloads of chicken and three truckloads of pet food, which made its way to Texas on Wednesday.
The Blood Bank of Delmarva is also asking residents to donate blood and platelets for blood banks in Texas. Those with O Positive, O Negative, A Negative and B Negative blood types are encouraged to donate this week. Individuals can call 1-888-8-BLOOD-8 or visit http://donate.bbd.org to schedule an appointment.