TOLEDO, Ohio — Now that we're seeing sunshine and warmer weather it’s easy to forget so many in Texas went through such a devastating winter storm, wiping out power, crushing water pipes, causing many people major financial hardships.
Here at WTOL 11 we want to try to lighten the load of people struggling with a supply drive at our studios.
On Monday, March 1, from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. volunteers will be collecting non-perishable food items, hygiene supplies and bottled water outside of our studios in downtown Toledo at 730 North Summit Street.
Our partners Maumee Valley Movers will then be taking those donated supplies to HIM Center in North Texas.
Tony Fox, the president of Maumee Valley Movers, said now was the time to help, “It's kind of a crazy time right now. You know, with the whole political climate and everything … I think we can all agree that these people need help, and if you're in a position where you can help, try to help somebody."
The HIM Center is a food bank and food pantry serving the people of Mansfield, Texas. Currently they serve 5,200 families a month, which averages to be about 26,000 people.
The center's President and CEO Lisa Richardson explains the situation there on the ground in Texas, “the food and the water is a huge necessity. Our line yesterday had 425 cars in it and then another 100 families in the afternoon. The food shortage had already been a problem and its defiantly a problem with the winter storm that hit.”
Richardson describes the situation as a true crisis and one where many people are seeking their help who haven’t had to before, “many of them are in tears and embarrassed they have to ask. Many of them are lost and haven’t had to ask for help before, and so it’s a very difficult situation.”
Richardson told her volunteers Friday that the much-needed help is coming from Toledo, “To recognize someone in another state wants to help us is amazing to me because we do have a lot of people in need… you’d be humbled if you stood outside and looked in our line. There are lots of people just barely making it.”
The donation drive will be contact-free. Please place your items in the trunk of your vehicle and volunteers at the station will take them out and load them onto the Maumee Valley Movers' truck so you never have to leave your vehicle.
If you wish to donate money, please do so through the American Red Cross or a similar disaster relief organization that you trust, as we will not be accepting checks or cash on site: Visit redcross.org, call 800-RED-CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Maumee Valley Movers will drive the 26-foot truck to Dallas for distribution to people in need in Texas.
Any donations that exceed what the truck can hold will be donated to care organizations locally.