Fill up the truck for Harvey victims

Osseo Legion helps spread the word for donations

Much of area surrounding Houston, Texas, was underwater last week.

Hurricane Harvey, a category four storm, brought rain fall in the amount of as much as 51.88 inches and winds as strong as 132 mph to the area as it made landfall.

The rain didn’t completely stop for days in some areas, which caused neighborhoods and cities surrounding Houston to flood.

Jessica Laske and other friends from the Osseo-Maple Grove American Legion show up at Da-Ran, Inc. in Zimmerman with donations that will be sent to Hurricane Harvey victim in Houston, Texas. (Photo courtesy of Da-Ran, Inc.)

Images and videos of people being rescued in boats were shown during news broadcasts after Hurricane Harvey hit. People’s possessions and lives were scattered throughout their flooded out homes.

According to Jenny Burke with FEMA, there have been more than 350,000 registrations for individual disaster assistance in the wake of Harvey.

“More than 90,000 individuals have been approved for disaster assistance with more than $57 million already provided to individuals and households,” she said last week. “Of the $57 million, $9.5 million has been approved for housing assistance, primarily in rental assistance. Approximately $47.7 million has been approved for other needs assistance including financial assistance for personal property and transportation. Also included is disaster-related medical and dental care.”

Many organizations such as the Red Cross, Save the Children and Humane Society are all taking donations.

But what if someone wants to donate actual goods? Where could someone do that?

Zimmerman-based Da-Ran, Inc., a cargo and freight company, decided Aug. 29 it would collect at least a semi-truckload of goods for hurricane victims in Texas, and since it announced the news, people in the area have stepped up to expand the effort.

These are just some of the donations from people around the area that will be driven to aid victims in Texas from Hurricane Harvey. (Photo courtesy of Da-Ran, Inc.)

The Osseo-Maple Grove American Legion bartender Jessica Laske has been helping out spreading the word to the Osseo community via Facebook.

The first post on the Legion’s Facebook page on Aug. 30 asked for the public to help bring in donations to fill up a semi trailer. This post has been liked over 145 times and shared over 400 times.

Laske said, “I was just happy to help spread the word. And the response has been overwhelming. We watch what is happening on the news and our hearts go out to everyone that is affected by this, but then we turn the TV off and go about our day. They can’t do that and I can’t imagine how that must feel, so when I heard that my friends were doing this I was all in.

She added that Da-Ran, Inc. actually did the exact same thing after Hurricane Katrina and they were the first truck to be able to pull in with supplies.

As of Sept. 3, a second semi trailer truck was being filled, as the first truck was already filled.

The trucking company took donations until Sept. 5. The donations then left for Texas. Julie Bollig-Ericson of Da-Ran said the items should arrive Thursday, Sept. 7.

Ericson said the company does not have ties to Texas but had been talking about the devastation and decided to do something. They thought: “Well, we have the means to transport things…” Staff members began calling around Tuesday morning, Aug. 29, to the American Red Cross and other places to see where items could be delivered.

“We have a church in Houston that’s willing to take it all,” said Ericson, “and they’re very excited.” Da-Ran will carry the loads to the Houston First Baptist Church.

“I believe it is what we should all be thinking about right now,” Laske said of the victims of Hurricane Harvey.

Debbie Griffin, ECM Publishers contributed to this article.