A number of area schools are interested, too, he said.
“We’re going to try to keep this going for as long as we can. We’ll be printing for several weeks because it’s not like their needs are going to stop,” he said.
“This has lifted my spirits, seeing all these people join in to help,” he said. “It’s a pretty dang cool thing.”
Dyer Police accepting items
Dyer Police Chief David Hein said his officers are teaming up with the local Fraternal Order of Police, CXS Railroad and area businesses to get supplies to Texas.
Bottled water, diapers, and infant formula are being accepted until Sept. 15 at the following locations: Centier Bank, 1121 Sheffield Ave., Rob’s Meat Chop and Deli, 2123 Northwinds Dr., Dyer Bank and Trust, 1101 Joliet St., Finnegan’s Pub, 1074 Joliet St., Goody’s Famous Popcorn, 811 Joliet St., and the Dyer Police Station, 2150 Hart St.
Hein said he had planned to have some of his officers drive the supplies down themselves, but CSX rail offered to ship it to Pasadena, Texas, where the police department has agreed to help with distribution.
Red Cross and Salvation Army efforts
Sue Gulley, interim executive director for the Red Cross Northwest Indiana Chapter in Merrillville, said the local organization is “very much linked in” with the national organizaton’s efforts on the ground in Texas.
This week, she sent five volunteers from the Region to Texas, with new volunteers rotating in every two weeks. In all, more than 1,500 Red Cross volunteers are on the ground. The volunteers from the Region specialize in shelter setup and intake but have other skills, she said.
One of the volunteers she sent specializes in mental health services. Many of these families are under incredible stress, not knowing how badly their homes flooded or when they may be able to return, she said.
“The pictures and flooding are horrific and heartbreaking,” she said.
About 32,000 people spent the night in Red Cross shelters Wednesday night, she said. Since the hurricane made landfall early Saturday, Red Cross has served more than 80,000 meals, as of Thursday, she said.
Gulley said the best three ways to help the Red Cross is to donate blood, money or become a volunteer.
Red Cross’ role in the Harvey crisis will evolve as weeks go by and waters recede, she said.
The Salvation Army deployed its national network of disaster staff and volunteers to the Gulf Coast, and has served more than 94,000 meals, distributed more than 1,000 comfort kits, and deployed nearly 75 mobile feeding units, as of Thursday.
‘I can help’
Texas bound, Lennon Reyes, owner of Region Snow Removal & Landscaping in Hobart, passed through Bald Knob, Arkansas, on Thursday with five of his employees, two trailers and a U-haul filled with supplies.
“The guys showed up to work on Wednesday and I told them I’m in a position where I can help a little bit so I asked them for their help,” the small business owner said.
The plan is to aid in hard-hit areas with fewer resources, such as bordering cities east of Houston, he said.
Reyes said this is the first time he’s done something of this magnitude.
“When (Hurricane) Katrina hit, I donated a lot of water to another company. I couldn’t make the trip, but this time, I knew I could go and was able to help. It was a no-brainer,” he said.
Others helping out
Through gestures big and small, others in the Region are finding ways to show they care.
Abuelo’s restaurant in Merrillville hosted a benefit Thursday with 10 percent of the proceeds going to Red Cross.
Kids helped raised $250 for Hurricane victims at the Westminster Presbyterian Church’s annual car wash fundraiser last weekend. The money will be sent to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, a faith-based national group on the ground in Texas.
The Griffith/Calumet Township Democratic Precinct Organization is accepting bottled water donations at the Rock N Rail Fest through Sunday.