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Kiwanis clubs respond to Texas disaster

Steven Hadt | Aug 29, 2017

Kiwanis clubs respond to Texas disaster

HOW YOU CAN HELP:

► Donate to the Kiwanis Children's Fund to fund disaster relief grants by texting "Aid" to 50155 or click here.
► Donate to the Texas-Oklahoma District to fund hygiene kits. Click here to learn more. 
► Buy supplies from Kiwanis Warehouse to have shipped directly to Texas for distribution by Kiwanis members. 

Texas families who fled the destruction and flooding from Hurricane Harvey had to move fast—their lives depended on it. They left with the clothes on their back and whatever they could carry. Now, as hundreds of thousands of people reside in emergency shelters, Kiwanis clubs are providing them with hygiene kits—soap, hand sanitizer, shampoo and deodorant.

Kiwanis clubs respond to Texas disaster"They said some of these people will be living in shelters for up to four weeks," said Marshall Kregel. "This is beyond anything we've done in the past.”

Kregel chairs disaster relief efforts for the Kiwanis Texas-Oklahoma District. He's in charge of getting supplies to Kiwanis clubs so club members can get supplies to the people who need them most.

"We got everybody on the team making contact—finding out who needs what, where," he said. "We're getting requests for help from all over Texas."

Kregel is sending all the supplies the district has been collecting over the years to Pasadena, Texas, since relief organizations have been unable to get in to that town. Pastor Brad McKenzie, a Kiwanis lieutenant governor and the police chaplain in Pasadena, worked with local authorities to get permission to go through the roadblocks with the supplies. McKenzie fled his home before the hurricane arrived, so this trip into town will be the first time he’s seen what's left of the community and his home.

Kiwanis clubs respond to Texas disaster Working with Kiwanis Warehouse, Kregel has ordered more than US$4,000 in supplies because the need is so great. He has used money in the district's reserves and money already donated from Kiwanians around the world to get more toothbrushes, razors and soap to the disaster zone. 

"As funds roll in, we'll continue to place these orders," he said. "We will continue to help out for the long term."

The first tractor-trailers with Kiwanis-purchased supplies are expected to arrive in the disaster zone from California on Saturday. Kregel already has a distribution network in place. Members from dozens of clubs will meet in a parking lot, unload the semi-trucks and drive the items back to their individual communities. Then club members will make the hygiene kits by forming an assembly line to stuff the bags, which will be delivered to the emergency shelters. 

"This is an awesome opportunity to help our neighbors," Kregel said. "This is an opportunity to show what Kiwanis is all about."


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