Mid-Shore gathers relief aid for Magnolia, Texas
— As the people of Texas begin to piece together their lives, local groups here on the Eastern Shore are getting together and gathering some much-needed supplies to help them through the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, WIN Transport of Hurlock and Farmers and Friends, a local Facebook group, are combining efforts to collect, transport and deliver a requested list of items to the residents of Magnolia, Texas.
The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, which owns the Eastern Shore Conservation Center and shares it with environmental partners and businesses, organized the effort and a location for an Easton drop-off site.
“We have a staff member here who has family in Rockport, Texas,” said David Ferraris, communications manager for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy. “They approached us with sending relief aid, and we all got on board to help. We felt compelled to do it.”
He said their particular building is made up of several different partners, and it just made sense for them to do it there.
“We are just doing our part on the Mid-Shore to help,” Ferraris said.
Ferraris said the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy is inviting anyone looking to contribute to the collection to bring items to its headquarters at 114 S. Washington St., Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
“We began accepting donations last week and will continue to accept them until Friday, Sept. 8,” Ferraris said. “The truck will be arriving on Monday Sept. 11 and will be delivering the supplies to Magnolia Cowboy Christian Church, in Magnolia, Texas.”
Libby Nagel of Farmers and Friends said they have been doing this type of relief aid for years, including during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“Our group was started as a way for us farmers to give back to our communities,” Nagel said. “We are just people coming together and giving back because it is the right thing to do.”
Like Ferraris, Nagel said she felt compelled to help the people of Texas.
“If this happened here we would want the help,” Nagel said. “We would be done for.”
Nagel said they have also partnered with several other local businesses across the Mid-Shore to assist in the filling as many tractor-trailers as possible.
“A lot of people want to do stuff to help,” Nagel said. “But they don’t know how to go about it.”
The other businesses that are stepping up to collect items and offer a drop-off location for people looking to be a part of the effort include four locations in Cambridge — Portside Restaurant, Cambridge Tire, To DYE For Salon and the Butterfly Boutique. In Fishing Creek, people can drop off items at Old Salty’s and in Hurlock at WIN Transport.
Nagel said depending on the amount of items collected they may be able to send multiple truckloads.
“We have already received 20 pallets of water,” Nagel said. “That’s one tractor-trailer full already.”
She said they plan to space out the deliveries throughout September and into October so that the people of Texas do not become bombarded with supplies.
On Monday, Sept. 11, WIN Tansport will be collecting the donations from all locations and will be making the first of many 1,500-mile trips to Magnolia Cowboy Christian Church.
From there the supplies will be delivered to Pastor Robert Stokes, who will then disperse them to the people of Magnolia.
Magnolia is located approximately one hour northwest of Houston in Montgomery County and was hit hard during the hurricane.
Nagel said the local trucking company is footing the bill for all of the travel costs. She said just one trip alone can cost between $3,500 to $4,500.
“They are a great bunch, very giving and always supportive of churches,” Nagel said. “That’s why when I began to put this together. I wanted to find a church in Texas.”
Ferraris said the list items were specifically requested and both he and Nagel said they were told directly that absolutely no clothing would be accepted.
“A lot of people have been saying the people of Texas don’t want supplies, they need money,” Ferraris said “But our partners in Texas gave us list as to what their needs were and we are doing our part to meet them.”
Below is a list of the brand new items that may be donated to any of the drop-off locations and are needed by the more than 30,000 displaced people:
Paper towels; toilet paper; personal feminine hygiene products; toothbrushes; toothpaste; soap; deodorant; shampoo; razors; shaving cream; collapsible coolers; nonperishable food; readyto-eat food; battery-operated lanterns; flashlights with batteries; batteries; radios; bleach; commercial-strength Lysol and household Lysol wipes; contractors trash bags; mops; buckets; face masks; gloves and latex; pillows; blankets; puzzles; coloring books and crayons; rakes; packing tape; markers; aluminum; serving dishes; Sternos, paper products like plates, forks and cups; heavy tarps; rope; jars of candles with lids; matches; gallon-sized Ziploc bags; baby formula, diapers, baby wipes and baby food; NyQuil and cough syrup; Aspirin and Advil; Neosporin and peroxide; Band-Aids and bandages; nasal spray; hand sanitizer; body lotion; insect repellent; and rubber boots/ waterman boots.
The relief effort is also collecting donations of pet supplies, including dry and wet food, pet bedding, cat litter, plastic bins for litter and horse feed.
“Just like with humans,” Nagel said, “the animals and horses need our help too.”
Monetary donations will also be accepted to purchase plastic totes to package the items in. All remaining funds will be donated to the Houston Food Bank.
For more information about where to donate or how, visit Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/EShoreLandC or visit Farmers and Friends at www.facebook. com/farmersnfriends.
For more information about Magnolia Cowboy Church and its relief efforts, visit www.facebook.com/ Magnolia-Cowboy-Church.
If unable to get items to one of these donation sites, contact Libby Nagel at 410430-1045 or Kele Turner at 410-463-3761.
Pictured above are the donations that have already been received at the Eastern Shore Conservation Center in Easton.