Parkites are finding ways to join Harvey flood relief efforts
The Park Record editorial, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2017
This week, regardless of how tough their days at work may be, Parkites know they can go home to their favorite spot on the couch and chill. Not so for hundreds of thousands of Texas and Louisiana residents displaced by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.
Still, the storm victims’ plight is weighing heavily on our minds as record-breaking rainfall continues to wreak havoc on their homes and businesses.
As they did following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Park City residents are already mobilizing to join relief effort. Churches, clubs and individuals are organizing fundraisers and preparing to volunteer as needed.
The Park City Sunrise Rotary Club is challenging its members to match a $500 donation to purchase a ShelterBox. The boxes are tailored to meet the needs of people displaced by natural disasters and contain everything from tents to blankets and hygiene supplies.
According to a spokesperson from the company, ShelterBox is working closely with federal emergency officials in Texas and is currently supplying indoor kits aimed at providing privacy for victims and medical personnel at the evacuation centers. After the storm subsides, the company will assess the need for outdoor shelters for those who have no homes to return to.
Forty Utah-based Red Cross volunteers have already flown to the flood-stricken area and more are packing their bags to join them. While the organization usually welcomes new volunteers, right now the best way to help is to donate money. According to a Salt Lake City organizer, the Red Cross was overwhelmed last weekend by callers who wanted to sign up. For now, though, he said, only experienced volunteers are being sent but donations are greatly appreciated. The money will go directly to support services in the flood zone, he said.
Local churches are encouraging their congregants to get involved too. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has already sent truckloads of water and hygiene supplies to the area and will deploy more volunteers when it is safe to do so. Other local congregations are beginning to organize relief efforts as well.
Despite their comfortable perch in the mountains, Parkites have never turned their backs on other communities in need. In the past, students, nonprofit groups, and businesses have all found ways to apply their energy and expertise to relief efforts around the world.
This week, they will rally again and when they do we are confident local residents will respond.
Here are two reputable ways to contribute right away. The Park Record will report on additional ways to get involved as more local efforts get underway.