Hurricane Harvey decimated much of Houston and surrounding areas this past August.
Although many communities are now fully functioning, there are those that are still suffering. With close ties to the Houston community, we felt that it was incumbent upon Wonderland BookSavers to reach out and provide assistance.
When residing in Houston, we attend The Woodlands United Methodist Church. This church became a central collection and distribution point, providing needed items for people who were suddenly homeless.
People collected and donated all the materials others needed, and then the ones affected by the hurricane would come in and “shop” for whatever they needed. We felt so distant, being in Connecticut, so we decided to reach out to our community and collect supplies and books to ship to Houston.
Despite the fact that it is now November, we have heard that there are schools that remain closed, schools that have lost their entire libraries due to flooding. These schools reached out to us and were very eager for us to send them 1,000’s of books to jumpstart their collections. Additionally, as we searched for shipping and trucking options, we found districts whose children were still in need of basic home goods to replace lost items.
WBS member Ella attends St. Thomas School, and they generously put a gigantic bin in their hallway to collect cleaning supplies, clothes, bedding, canned food, pet food, and books. We were incredibly grateful for this thoughtful gesture. We have partnered with St. Thomas in the past, as they have given us books and shoes. My sister says that St. Thomas is the kindest school in America, and I can definitely see why that is true. After several weeks, our bin was overflowing with donations from all the children, families, and teachers.
The children from St. Thomas also made hundreds of thoughtful, kind, and supportive letters to deliver to the victims of the hurricane.
It was so sweet reading these letters, and knowing that someone across the country will feel loved.
After collecting the supplies and the letters, we packed everything up into our car (the supplies were nearly overflowing!)
Next, we brought everything to our garage…
and employed eager Boy Scouts from our community, who helped box the supplies, weigh the boxes, and stack them.
We were so touched by St. Thomas’ and our community’s joy in helping complete strangers on the other side of the country.
One more Road Trip: Montgomery County, New Jersey, en route to Houston!
We partnered with Operation Friends Again, a New Jersey organization, that is sending a tractor-trailer filled with gift boxes specifically for children displaced by Hurricane Harvey.
Once we weighed all our boxes, over 2,000 lbs., or ONE TON!, they said they would be happy to bring our boxes and letters, with them, down to Houston.
The supplies from St. Thomas and our books are being packed up in a truck this week. Then they will begin their 1,600-mile journey and will finally reach their destination. We hope to receive pictures of the recipients of these items in order to share in their happiness.