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Santa Monica Groups Launch Hurried Drive to Help Hurricane Victims


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September 8, 2017 -- Santa Monica veterans and other local groups have launched a drive to rush essentials to victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas -- and potentially in Florida -- establishing drop off spots for donations and offering to provide lifts to those who want to help with rebuilding.

“We want to help as much as we can, to make this is as big as we can,” said Jared Morgan, adjutant at Santa Monica American Legion Post 123.

“Thousands of people want to help. They want to make a difference,” said Phil Brock, representing the Santa Monica Elks Lodge, another group helping with the relief effort.

Trucks are ready to haul the donations, Morgan said. The first is expected to leave today.

Badly needed are donations of water, clothes, canned food, blankets, toiletries, diapers, infant formula, pet food and generators, Morgan said.

Other donations could include socks of any size and color, new adult men’s and women’s underwear, children’s coloring books, puzzle books, and toys, pet supplies, feminine hygiene products, towels of all sizes and wipes.

Other needed items are snack bars (breakfast/protein), jerky, body wash, disposable razors, cotton swabs/Q-Tips, tissues, cleaning supplies, leather gloves and dust masks.

All donations will benefit Rockport and the suburbs of Corpus Cristi, Texas, which were also devastated by Harvey.

The local drive is accepting donations through September 15, and deliveries are scheduled for September 16 to September 18.

The drop off locations for donations are:

* Santa Monica College Police Department, at 1718 Pearl Street,

* SMC Veterans Resource Center, across Pearl in the Liberal Arts Building, Room 135,

* Santa Monica Elk Lodge 906, 1040 Pico Boulevard, Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and

* Pacific Palisades American Legion Post 283, at 15247 La Cruz Drive.

Morgan said more drop-off sites are being added in Culver City and Hollywood.

The organizers and volunteers in the relief effort are from the American Legion Post Palisades 283, Santa Monica 123, Venice 177, the Santa Monica College Student Veterans Association and Santa Monica Elks Lodge 906.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the City of Santa Monica said it is supporting two calls to action requested by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner last week to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Turner asked for cash assistance to the newly created Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund for tax deductible flood relief donations. Online credit card donations also can be made.

Details can be found at the Greater Houston Community Foundation's website.

Turner also asked for donations of toiletries, cleaning supplies and diapers.

Mayor Turner specifically said that people in his city and region have an immediate need for toiletries, cleaning supplies and diapers.
Meanwhile, Brock said those involved in the relief drive are also keeping a watchful eye on Hurricane Irma, the overwhelming Category 5 storm that ripped apart the Caribbean and is barreling toward Florida.

A mass exodus of Floridians started Thursday, with the storm on a projected path toward heavily populated areas including Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.


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