GREENE COUNTY — Hurricane Harvey flooded and destroyed areas of Texas, but still hit home for some Greene County citizens.
“I was born in Houston and raised in Texas, so it’s very near and dear to my heart,” said Preston Lewis, who is hosting a clothing drive. “I also have a friend who spent time in that area because her dad lived there.”
Although work obligations and a new baby are keeping him and his friend from traveling down and getting their hands dirty with hurricane relief, they are still doing what they can to help the victims. They researched what was needed and determined that they would host a drive that is collecting clothing and daily essentials — right in their current community, the City of Xenia.
“I’ve been running around after work and during lunch picking up stuff,” Lewis said.
With the help of their friends at Winsupply, they established the Micah Windsor Agency, 57 E. Main Street in Xenia, as a drop-off point. Winsupply will send a truck down to the Houston area by Friday, Sept. 8. Donations will be accepted 8:30-5:30 p.m. throughout the remainder of this week and the following week.
Lewis said his clothing drive also helped Tom Arnett, a Xenia resident who was able to collect multiple truckloads of donations from Greene County citizens and businesses.
However, it didn’t take roots in Texas to inspire Ohio-born-and-raised Fairborn citizen Salli Jones to help.
“On Tuesday, the (Dayton) Foodbank put out a request to fill a truck with water,” she said. “I took 12 cases that day.”
Jones would later post a status to Facebook asking individuals to skip treats, such as $3 coffee drinks and dining out for lunch, to instead think about the hurricane victims. As of press time Aug. 30 — just less than 24 hours after her post the social media site — she was sitting on 182 cases of water.
“It would be terrible to be without a home and not know where your friends and family are,” Jones said. “Water is a basic need, so it’s one less thing they have to worry about.”
She said the Foodbank would send the truck down Friday, Sept. 1 as well as Friday, Sept. 8, giving opportunities for individuals to donate. She said it even inspired Facebook “friends” that she had not talked to in years to reach out and ask how they could help.
“It’s heartwarming to see people step up and do what they can,” Jones said.
Fairborn citizen Kim Ison, who is accepting donations through her Aunt Flo Foundation, thought about products that could be overlooked in the face of disaster relief.
“Normally we collect and distribute feminine hygiene products to women in Dayton, but for now we have expanded to Texas,” Ison said.
With the help of the Women’s Shelter of South Texas, the Aunt Flo Foundation is collecting feminine hygiene products as well as toiletry items through Saturday, Sept. 9 through three locations.
The drop-off points include the New Carlisle Library, 111 E Lake Ave. in New Carlisle; Salon Lofts in Centerville, 681 Lyons Road, Suit 729 in Washington Township; and the Springfield Chamber of Commerce building in Suit 110, 20 S. Limestone Street, Suit 100 in Springfield.
Individuals can also find the Aunt Flo Foundation on Facebook. They can donate monetary funds through an app if they prefer. Upon the products reaching Texas, the Women’s Shelter of South Texas will distribute the items among locals in need.
“To me, it’s about dignity,” Ison said. “We can do something to help them have dignity and be clean even if they’re not in the best situation.”