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Kansas Organizations Looking To Contribute To Texas Flood Recovery Efforts

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Houston Food Bank
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Kansas Red Cross disaster relief workers are in the Houston area to help with flood recovery efforts. Several other volunteers are on standby for possible deployment.

The Red Cross is providing shelter, meals and comfort to people impacted by the catastrophic flooding in Texas. The South Central and Southeast Red Cross chapter sent four emergency response vehicles and about two dozen volunteers.

Executive director Jennifer Sanders says more than 30 shelters are open in the Houston area.

"Sometimes, when you are operating a mass care shelter, it’s simply just that compassionate person who is there to sit with the families who have been impacted and offer them hope, listen to their story, give them a hug and let them know everything is going to be okay," Sanders says.

Harvey made landfall late Friday as a Category 4 hurricane and has lingered just off the Texas coast, dropping heavy rain as a tropical storm.

Sanders says financial donations are the best way for the local community to help right now.

"This is going to be a very long-term devastating impact to folks in Texas, so financial donations are key in helping to support the response effort," Sanders says.

Sanders says there is another way to help: Consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer.

"For people who maybe don’t currently volunteer for Red Cross but have thought about doing so, this is an excellent opportunity for them to get engaged," Sanders says.

She says the nonprofit is offering expedited training to get more volunteers ready to serve in Texas.

The Red Cross is accepting monetary donations online, by phone, by text and mail. Visit redcross.org for more information.

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Credit Houston Food Bank
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The Kansas Food Bank in Wichita is also looking to offer relief for those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The organization is getting calls on how to help thousands of Texans in the aftermath of the hurricane.

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Carla Eckels speaks with Debbie Kreutzman from the Kansas Food Bank about how to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Kansas Food Bank's Debi Kreutzman says it will be nearly impossible to get trucks into Houston. She says the best way Kansans can help out right now is to make monetary donations to the Houston Food Bank.

“That way they can use those resources to buy the product that they need, whether that be bottled water, whether that be shelf stable food, ready-to-eat meals, et cetera," Kreutzman says. "At this point, that is what we are instructing people to do and the best way dollars can be used.”

The Houston Food Bank is taking online donations. The building is undamaged, but their warehouse is currently surrounded by high water and is inaccessible to employees and volunteers. The food bank plans to open as soon as possible to offer disaster relief boxes.

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Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

 
Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

 
To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.