Locals organizing donation drives for Texas flood

Published 4:16 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Local citizens are doing their part to help respond to the horrific natural disaster of Hurricane Harvey, which has affected our neighbors in Texas and Louisiana.

As early as Sunday morning, the Franklinton Fire Department posted on social media that it was setting up as a drop point for bottled water, cleaning supplies, non-perishable food items, and toiletry items to go to the devastated residents of Texas, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Their address is 415 11th Avenue, in Franklinton.

No clothing items will be accepted at that location. The station is open five days a week from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. During business hours, the FFD can be reached at 985-839-3515. After hours, the FPD asks that citizens call Chief Wascom at 985-415-7317, and if no one answers, leave a message and someone will return the call as soon as possible.

The Franklinton High School Interact will collect toiletries and cleaning supplies to send to Texas. Anyone who wishes to contribute can do so via a collection box outside Dr. Graham’s room at FHS.

Bogalusa City Schools will also collect items for the hurricane victims.

Chris Penton’s Milltown BBQ is planning two trips to Texas. On the first trip, they plan to feed about 500 people, and to bring whatever supplies will fit in the vehicle. They plan to make the first trip and come back, and then turn around to head back again. They are accepting items like toiletries, infant formula, water, pet food, and cleaning supplies.

The Beta Club at Annunciation Catholic School raised donations for Penton’s endeavor.

Many local churches and other charitable organizations are also collecting for victims. Citizens should check with them to see how they can help in the effort.

To donate to the American Red Cross visit redcross.org online or call 1-800-Red Cross, or text the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation. To donate to the Salvation Army, visit www.helpsalvationarmy.org online or call 1-800-725-2769. To donate to Catholic Charities, visit catholiccharitiesusa.org online.

Blood drives are also being organized to help Texas. The Blood Center urges all residents of southern Louisiana and Mississippi to give blood in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Several events in our community are being organized to support our neighbors. The Blood Center’s smaller donor centers will be closed in the coming days to reassign staff who can better assist the anticipated increase in blood donations.

The Blood Center began shipping blood to affected areas Saturday and will continue to provide blood and blood components to south Texas. Houston is the fourth largest populace in the United States and efforts are being coordinated with donor centers throughout the country.

“There is an ongoing need for donors while those affected by Hurricane Harvey begin rebuilding,” said Paul Adams, public relations manager for The Blood Center. “Our focus remains the hospitals and patients in our local community, but South Texas has helped us in the past and this is our opportunity to return the favor.”

Blood isn’t being collected in the Houston region and hospitals still have patients. As cleanup and rebuilding begins, storm related injuries will likely increase.

Current details on upcoming blood drives and center hours can be found at TheBloodCenter.org online. Those wishing to host a blood drive for their school, church, community organization or business should call 800-86-BLOOD for more information.