On Sept. 23, 65 trucks and vans will arrive at a Catholic Charities of Galveston-Houston warehouse, packed to the brim with 250,000 diapers, 40,000 pounds of food, half a million bottles of water, cleaning supplies and personal hygiene items, said Cynthia N. Colbert, president and CEO.
The estimated value of the generous delivery of supplies for Hurricane Harvey victims, coordinated by Catholic Charities of San Antonio, is $4 million. Roughly 600 volunteers loaded the vehicles for the journey to Houston, said Antonio Fernandez, president and CEO of the San Antonio nonprofit.
“Right after Harvey, we gathered and sent supplies to Houston to provide immediate disaster relief, collected locally and also funded in part by $2 million from Catholic Charities USA,” Fernandez said. “The critical supplies we’re delivering on this trip have been donated by parishes, Catholic schools, individuals and businesses, and also purchased by generous cash gifts. We were able to bring just what was needed.”
Colbert said hundreds of volunteers will be on hand Saturday to unload the supplies and store them in the warehouse in preparation for distribution to thousands of people still struggling to get back on their feet after Hurricane Harvey.
“It is amazing that so many volunteers, San Antonio team members and even a priest are taking their weekend to drive these supplies to our hurting region,” Colbert said. “Thousands of people in our region will be positively impacted by their hard work and generosity.”
In addition to the large donation arriving Saturday, Catholic Charities has received donations from concerned citizens nationwide. Trucks have brought supplies from California, Louisiana, Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska, Massachusetts and Ohio – and many more donations are expected through October. San Antonio’s Catholic Charities received a huge load of supplies from Illinois earlier, which helped hard-hit neighboring cities Corpus Christi and Victoria.
“We pledge our support to our fellow Catholic Charities in Texas, and we will continue to do all we can to help them recover from this tragedy for as long as it takes,” Fernandez said.
Galveston-Houston’s Catholic Charities organization serves as the region’s leading agency dealing with long-term disaster relief, including case management. Anyone in need is welcomed at any Catholic Charities relief center.
“When the first-response crisis organizations move on to the next disaster, Catholic Charities is still here, providing help and creating hope for people whose recovery could take months or even years,” Colbert said. “Low- and moderate-income families in our region have been the hardest hit because they often have no savings, lost wages because of the storm, high housing costs with no safe place to live and, if their cars flooded out, no way to get to work. We are here to help them sort it all out.”