Texas Relief Drive donations arrive in Houston

Photos: Alyssa Goard/KXAN

HOUSTON (WPRI) – After a journey of more than 1,800 miles, Southern New Englanders’ donations from this month’s Texas Relief Drive have arrived in Houston to assist those rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey.

The drive, held Sept. 11 at four local Cardi’s Furniture and Mattresses locations, collected $360,000 worth of construction and cleaning supplies. WPRI 12 and Fox Providence teamed up with Cardi’s and Arpin Van Lines to collect the donations and transport them to Texas.

The first 53-foot truck arrived Monday and was unloaded at a Gallery Furniture store in the Houston area, and storm victims immediately started stopping by to pick up supplies and express gratitude to those who sent them.

“That’s just the beginning of Rhode Island’s generosity,” said Allen Taylor of Arpin Van Lines. “I mean, those people are just so tremendous in giving – it’s like they’ve been through Sandy when Sandy was up north.”

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“It’s a blessing to be able to see that firsthand, where people drive hundreds of miles and thousands of miles to help – that kind of shows who we are as people,” said Steve Salazar, a manager at the Gallery store.

There are currently 70,000 Texans displaced from their homes and living in transitional housing through FEMA, and officials say donations like these can make a big difference.

“To this day there’s still areas where people are still not able to get back in their homes,” Salazar said. “The good thing about it is for most of the areas, the water has receded to where now it’s a big cleanup effort.”