A friend of my friend was volunteering at the Astrodome and sent the following message about donations. I hope it helps. She said she would send updates as soon as she has them.
I was at the Astrodome today. As of now, here is what I saw that is still
desperately needed. If you can get the word out, that would be great.
a.. Kids shoes and socks and underwear-many children have bare feet or are
in flip-flops. The sanitation at the Dome is deteriorating and we need to
get children's feel covered.
b.. Extra large women's clothes-3x or 4x, particularly underwear
c.. Children's books, play dough, puzzles, crayons, paper-most of the
children have nothing to do and there are no provisions for them at all.
Diapers, formula, etc are covered adequately.
Medical coverage is still inadequate. There was a period of time I was
pulled from psychological support to help sort people for medical triage. I
am not medically trained but for a while I helped sort people into cues
based on their stories.
Volunteers are still needed although I should warn you that what is needed
is physical labor and custodial predominately. You check in, get a wrist
bracelet, then get called to jobs-like sorting clothes, cleaning restrooms,
serving food, etc. Some of the work is outdoors and pretty hot.
Air-conditioning is totally inadequate so don't come if that is a health
threat. Roaming around reading books to children is an example of the type
of activity our folks could do readily and would be very much appreciated.
(Bring your own books). A crayon and a piece of paper may be the difference
between many more hours with nothing to do and something familiar (and maybe
even comforting) to do.
Also, don't believe the terrible stories that the media are reporting-I saw
no violence of any kind; people were patient, gracious, appreciative.
Although many are quite desperate and all have lost loved ones and homes,
the experience of helping was rewarding. Don't expect order, though, there
is no one in charge. You get your name badge and get sent to do something.
Everyone finds something to do to help. And, no one can do it for very long.
Plan on a four-hour shift-they are asking for 8-10 hours-but no one is
making it that long. Bring your own snacks. There isn't food for
volunteers. There is plenty to drink. Kleenex is another important
resource. Bring plenty, you will need it.
Thought this might be helpful to others who want to help. There are other
places that may need help as well. The convention center is open, so is the
Astrohall and Reliant Center. There is still room to make a difference. If
you know of organizations, churches, or groups that want to help, this is
current data-and I will update you again-I am going back again for another
thanks for this. could you get an address of where we should send clothing?
You know, I wasn't given that information. I'll see what I can find out. Maybe someone else will know.
Some places are not taking clothing at this point, while others are. I think the clothing that is still needed is for children and adult XL+ sizes (one note I saw today said womens 2XL and 3XL). It seems to be a rather fluid situation. If you are not in the area, it could be hard to get it to the right place at the right time.
I found this through a link on the KHOU site -- it's the downtown thrift store for the St. Vincent de Paul Society and is listed as a drop off site for Katrina clothing donations. This site is probably the nearest one I have seen listed to the dome, and I imagine they are sorting and taking clothing to the shelter sites. That address is
SVDP Washington Thrift Store
2020 Washington Ave.
Houston, TX 7007
But I also remind everyone not to feel guilty about donating in your own community -- there are needs everywhere, and we all need to do what we can as we can.
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