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Tag Archive | "homeless"

Hurricane Harvey: how you can help


Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard move through flooded Houston streets as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Monday, August 28, 2017. More than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.

By Judy Reed

Hurricane Harvey swept into Texas last weekend, and at least 25 people have died as the storm battered the southeast region of Texas and nearby Louisiana. Houston has been hit especially hard. Floodwaters have begun to recede, but thousands of people and pets have been left homeless in the storm’s wake. Some 18,000 people have been rescued from the flooding in SE Texas; at least 32,000 people are in shelters, with thousands more seeking to get in.

How can you help?

Hurricane Helping Hands: There are some people right here in Cedar Springs organizing relief for both humans and their pets. Friends Jamie Garcia, Melissa Lombard, and Tiffany Rop are asking for physical donations—not monetary—though gas cards would be accepted. Jamie will be driving some things down to Texas, and someone else has offered one or two semi tractor trailer to drive items down. There are many items needed such as flashlights, batteries, lanterns, socks, bandaids, trash bags, toilet paper, biodegradable wipes, rubber gloves, peanut butter, etc. Please see their Facebook page for the entire list. https://www.facebook.com/HurricaneHelpingHands/

Melissa posted on the Facebook page that there is also a big need for baby items—formula, diapers, wipes, etc. They are also putting together personal care packs and are in need of combs, razors, pads/tampons, tissues, toothbrushes, hair ties, etc. She is also making natural soap to go into the bags, so is looking for donations of lard, coconut oil, sunflower oil and olive oil, but would need those this week. Her goal is to make 100 pounds of soap.

The friends are also collecting items for pets that have been rescued.

The Post will have a drop box for donations, and other drop off points will be announced on their Facebook page. Please email them or send a message through their Facebook page for more information.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund: https://ghcf.org/hurricane-relief/ Mayor Sylvester Turner has established the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund that will accept tax-deductible flood relief donations for victims that have been affected by the recent floods. The fund will be housed at the Greater Houston Community Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity.

Workers with the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals rescue a horse in rising floodwaters.

Houston Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: The Houston SPCA is the lead nonprofit animal-related agency responsible for disaster rescue, recovery and relief efforts. You can donate online at http://www.houstonspca.org/.

UMCOR – The United Methodist Committee on Relief is currently working with disaster coordinators and early response teams in Louisiana and Texas to provide relief to the many people whose lives have been impacted by hurricane/tropical storm Harvey. They give you five things you can do at http://www.umcor.org/umcor/resources/news-stories/2017/august/0825umcorrespondstoharvey. One is to make relief kits. You can download the packing list and shipping label from their website. You can also donate online or by mail.

Save the children: This organization is delivering family-friendly relief supplies including cribs, strollers, changing tables, baby shampoo, diapers and baby-safe portable tubs. They are also setting up child-friendly spaces in shelters where kids can play and learn while parents manage their family’s emergency needs. Go to www.savethechildren.org to learn more and to donate.

American Red Cross: Visit the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org to donate.

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Family homeless after fire


Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

Photo by Marty Fraser

Photo by Marty Fraser

A fire that started in a garage destroyed a two-story home in Nelson Township last weekend that had recently been remodeled.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in at 12:38 a.m. Saturday, February 1, at a home at 7788 19 Mile Road, between Myers Lake Avenue and Pine Lake Rd. “The family woke up when they heard a noise in the garage and couple of explosions,” explained Fraser. “They were probably the tires on the minivan and a small car.” Both cars were destroyed in the fire.

Fraser said the first unit arrived at the home of Karl and Kathy Hanes to find the structure well involved and the occupants outside. Home at the time was the mother and four teenagers.

Assisting at the scene was the Sand Lake, Spencer, Courtland and Oakfield Fire Departments. “It took approximately two hours to knock the bulk of the fire down, and about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to knock down hot spots. We were on the scene a total of six hours,” explained Fraser.

The home was a total loss. Fraser said that the interior of the home was compromised so they had to attack the fire strictly from the outside. The cause was undetermined.

The family does have insurance, and the Red Cross put them up temporarily in one of their Red Cross houses. Anyone who would like to help the Hanes family, should contact the Red Cross.

 

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Fire ravages mobile home


N-Fire1

N-Fire2A Solon Township family is homeless for the holidays after a fire destroyed their mobile home Wednesday morning.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, he received a call at the fire station at 9:39 a.m. from a neighbor reporting the fire at 2280 18 Mile Rd, which is west of Algoma. Drake was on scene within minutes but the mobile home was already gone.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Guernsey, the neighbor said she heard what she thought was several gunshots and didn’t think much of it, but then she looked out the window and saw the mobile home in flames.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department supplied their engine and manpower at the scene to put out the fire.

A couple and two children lived in the home, along with several pets. Drake said that the family had left at 6:30 a.m. and so was not at home at the time of the fire. The cats were believed to be outside, but it is unknown whether the dog was in the home at the time.

Drake said the cause of the fire could not be determined. The family, who was renting the home, was uninsured. The home was a total loss. It is estimated the family lost $5,000 in contents. The assessed value of the home by the Township was $27,000.

Drake said the family is staying with other family members.

For those who would like to help the family financially, we’ve been told that an account has been set up for them at Choice One Bank in Cedar Springs. If you have donations of clothing or other items, contact Vonda Hendges at (616) 293-8282. The girls are 5 and 8 years old, and wear sizes 5 and 8. Also needed are women’s 6/7 in pants and medium in tops; and men’s 32-32 pants and medium shirts.

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