Members using Kiwanis network to get supplies to disaster zone

Steven Hadt | Sep 01, 2017

Marshall Kregel is overwhelmed by the generosity of Kiwanians from around the world. He's leading the Texas-Oklahoma disaster relief efforts. Tens of thousands of dollars have already been donated, along with thousands of pounds of supplies. 

"We aren't turning anything away. We will find a place for everything," Kregel said. "We're spending money as soon as we get it. We're trying to reach as many people as we can." 

Kregel directs the shipments of supplies to four distribution points around Texas. He's working on another, but nobody can get to it now—the interstate is still underwater.  

Getting supplies to the flooded area is turning out to be the hardest logistical challenge for Kregel. The shipping companies aren't able to deliver supplies because too many roads are still impassable. Concerns about fuel shortages are compounding the problem because the companies don't want their drivers to get stranded. 

That's where fellow Kiwanians are stepping in. Robin Meyer is the secretary of the Kiwanis Club of Denton, Texas. Her husband owns a big rig. He has enough diesel in his truck to travel 2,000 miles, so she's spent several days collecting blankets, gloves and pet food from Kiwanis clubs and Key Clubs in Oklahoma and northern Texas. She's determined to get those items—along with diapers, baby wipes, baby clothing and children's toothbrushes—to one of Kregel's distribution points outside of Houston.  

When the truck arrives, Sharon Singleton and fellow members of the Kiwanis Club of Conroe, Texas, will unpack the truck and wait for members in nearby clubs to arrive. Those members will take the supplies to emergency shelters in their communities. 

"This is an opportunity to show what Kiwanis is all about," Kregel said. "Kiwanis gives people an opportunity to assist others." 

Despite the logistical difficulties, Kregel pushes on. He's heard from members who have worked with local authorities to make it past the roadblocks and delivered the first Kiwanis supplies to the emergency shelters. The people who have lost everything are grateful for the Kiwanis network—a global network of adult and youth clubs, individuals, alumni, donors, non-profit partners and corporate sponsors—helping their communities.


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