Helping Hurricane Harvey victims

Area churches, and others, are getting involved to help raise money, or collect goods, to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Bishop Gregory Parkes has asked all 81 parishes and missions in the Diocese of St. Petersburg to hold a special collection the weekend of Sept. 2 and Sept. 3, or Sept. 9 and Sept. 10, for the needs of people affected by natural disasters, including Hurricane Harvey that is causing devastating damage to Texas and is expected to impact Louisiana.

Thousands of Texans are being rescued from the floodwaters of Hurricane Harvey.
(Courtesy of Army National Guard Lt. Zachary West)

“Our hearts and prayers go out to the families that have lost loved ones and to all who have lost homes and businesses along with their sense of peace and normalcy,” Bishop Parkes said in a statement published on the Diocese’s website. “The prayerful and financial support of people from all around the country is urgently needed.”

First Baptist Dade City, at 37511 Church Ave., is collecting items to provide relief to Hurricane Harvey victims. The church is accepting bottled water, blankets, soap, shampoo, deodorant and toilet paper.

Donations are being accepted until Sept. 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday and on Sunday morning.

Harvester United Methodist Church, at 2432 Collier Parkway, in Land O’ Lakes, is also helping.

It planned to hold a second collection on Sept. 3 to help Hurricane Harvey victims.

And, it also planned to put together some hygiene kits and some 5-gallon flood buckets filled with cleaning and drying supplies, to help victims in the aftermath.

Harvester will have a special box located in the back of the sanctuary for the next couple of weeks for donations.

The church will be providing its help through the United Methodist Commission on Relief, or UMCOR, for short, said Gary Evans, of Harvester United.

“UMCOR is usually one of the first, second or third agencies to respond to emergencies around the world,” Evans said.

Goodwill Industries-Suncoast invited shoppers to round up their purchases, from Aug. 30 through Sept. 12, to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

Normally, the Round Up program supports the agency’s employment services, but this special Round Up collection will be donated to the American Red Cross to assist people affected by the devastating storm.

Cashiers at all 18 retail stores and three outlet stores operated by Goodwill-Suncoast will also accept hurricane relief donations from people who don’t make purchases, with all of these funds being forwarded to the Red Cross.

Goodwill-Suncoast stores are in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Polk, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, Highlands and Marion counties.

Published September 6, 2017

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