Detroit woman organizes backpack relief effort for Houston

- Disaster relief is what the Red Cross does, but Hurricane Harvey has made this one especially challenging

"Out of Michigan we have almost 70 volunteers who've deployed including eight emergency vehicles that are headed down to help to with the response efforts," said Greg Waite, American Red Cross.

Waite with the American Red Cross, Southeast Michigan Chapter, says those volunteers are encountering serious obstacles.

"They are running into a lot of issues because with the flooding still being so high, we're having to use high profile vehicles just to get them into the area to help those in need," he said. "So it's just been eye opening over the past couple of days."

So many people want to send supplies but the American Red Cross says right now the best way to help, is to make a donation.

"A lot of times people will think about what I have around the house (but) logistically we cannot get that down to the people in need," Waite said. "We are turning to financial donations because we can turn cash into the items."

As time goes on, more waves of volunteers will be needed and our Red Cross will continue to send them.

Others in Michigan are gathering supplies to send down once the flooding begins to subside.

"We need to do something," said Sherrie Handrinos. "If I'm sitting here and I'm safe and there are people literally leaving their homes with the clothes on their backs - what can we do?"

Handrinos, owner of Boost 1 Marketing, is stranded at her home in Houston, but also has a home in Detroit where she grew up and represents many high profile clients.

But she can't get to any of them - so instead she's using her skills to organize a relief drive called #detroit2houston - a way for metro Detroit to send backpacks full of much needed items like toiletries, school supplies, blankets - to those who've lost so much in the flooding.

"I just don't know when it's going to stop to be honest with you - I went to bed last night and it was raining and it's still raining - it has not stopped - there's no break," she said. "Hopefully people will show up and show Detroit can help other towns because I know we would want the help right - if it happened to us."

The relief drive will take place Saturday at the Airtime Trampoline in Troy on Big Beaver Road from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The goal is to stuff a semi-truck full of backpacks.

CLICK www.GoFundMe.com/Detroit2Houston to donate.

The Red Cross asking for donations. Call Red Cross or go to Redcross.org text harvey or red cross to 90999 to make a $10 donation through your cell phone carrier.
 

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