Church donates to Harvey relief
Supplies collected for hurricane victims
By Holly Neumann
When Jim Booker learned that there was a need for supplies for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, he jumped into action to help out.
“My daughter, Lisa Barth, had received a general notice asking for donations from my niece who lives in the flooded area,” said Booker. “My niece is married to the pastor of Westbury Baptist Church, which is now one of the distribution centers in Houston and they needed some help.”
Booker himself then made an announcement at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, in Iola, asking his congregation for donations.
“I knew it was a generous group of people,” he said. “I am not surprised by the outpouring of help.”
After sharing the list of needs donations began to pour in.
“What surprised me was that they were attacking me with help,” said Booker. “They were coming in with just about everything. Even after being told I did not want money, some was still donated to the cause. It was an amazing showing of generosity.”
Money donated was then used to purchase some of their needs such as dry shoes, diapers, baby food and other nutritional needs.
“People are still calling,” he said. “I made that announcement on Sunday, and this is Thursday, so it was short notice. As long as the donations keep coming in, we will make sure to get them all the supplies. This could be on going for quite a while.”
Booker knows from his own personal experiences what lies ahead.
“I have been through a hurricane and it is not an adventure,” he said. “You look at your possessions and all that has been lost. It’s scary and it’s a depressing.”
Once the water goes down then the work begins.
“It’s is a real mess,” he said. “There is clean up, mildew, mold and mosquitoes. The trash is at a maximum and will be for quite a while. And then the realization of rebuilding begins.”
And so, a group of volunteers gathered at Our Savior’s on Sept. 7, to load up cars and trucks with the first load of donated clothing, food, cleaning supplies and more.
“The ladies of the church even donated three dozen hand-made quilts to send along,” Booker said.
The supplies will then be taken to Oshkosh.
“We will probably make a couple trips in the next few days,” he said. “The items will then be packaged up, labelled and put on a truck.”
An anonymous company has donated their time and efforts to deliver all the supplies to Texas.
“It makes me feel good to be a small part of this,” Booker said. “I hope the people of Houston know that they are not alone. Relief is coming from everywhere and it is nice to see that people can come together for this.”