FP in the News

It warmed our hearts to read this article from The Galveston County Daily News. The hurricane relief efforts are ongoing, and we’re working on ways to do more, in more areas that need help. We love these beautiful communities and want to be a part of the recovery process. They need your help too!

“Company donates new clothes to flood victims” Sept. 27

A Colorado-based retail company donated about 6,000 unused articles of clothing to an area nonprofit with the help of a former Galveston resident who once interned with the social services group.

The nonprofit, The Jesse Tree, began distributing the clothing Wednesday after earlier this week receiving a truckload of items from clothing company Fresh Produce, Jesse Tree Executive Director Ted Hanley said.

The Jesse Tree is a faith-based organization that serves Galveston and Brazoria counties and parts of Harris County.

Former Galveston resident Gabriella McDonald helped coordinate the delivery from Fresh Produce. McDonald, who lives in Austin, went to Ball High School and is a former Jesse Tree intern, she said.

Hurricane Harvey inundated the county the last week of August with record levels of rain, resulting in devastating floods that left many people without their homes and belongings. The disaster has also sparked an uptick in charitable giving donations across the county and region, and people from across the nation have stepped in to help.

Tiffany Woo, office coordinator of Fresh Produce, is one of those people. When she saw what was happening in Southeast Texas, she reached out to McDonald, a college friend, and asked where her company could donate.

“Seeing everything on the news, I wanted to do something,” Woo said. “I wanted to make sure that it went to a local organization, to somebody that would actually be on the ground and know the needs in this community.”

When Woo contacted McDonald and asked where to send thousands of articles of new clothing, McDonald told her the Jesse Tree was the perfect place, she said.
“I’ve actually been there when people line up to come pick up clothing from them,” McDonald said. “I knew for a fact they were an organization that would give the help needed.”

The clothes will first be given to The Jesse Tree’s partners, including the Alcohol/Drug Abuse Women’s Center, the Children’s Center Inc. and the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County, Hanley said.

The Jesse Tree is being deliberate in how it takes donations, Hanley said. Generosity after Hurricane Ike in 2008 led to an overwhelming amount of donations, many of which Hanley couldn’t use, he said.

“During Hurricane Ike, we were paralyzed with our own damage, and we had communities from all over the country sending donations in willy-nilly,” Hanley said. “We didn’t know what was coming from where. It actually was a burden.”

“We kind of had a little panic reaction when Harvey hit because we remembered what happened.”

This time around, The Jesse Tree has put out calls for specific items, such as wheelchairs, Hanley said. When McDonald called and said Fresh Produce wanted to donate thousands of new articles of clothing, Hanley said he knew he could use it.

“We are working one individual, one family at a time,” Hanley said. “New clothing would be one of the nicest things we could offer to people who have literally lost everything.”

By SAMANTHA KETTERER

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