When he woke up, Shumaker, a local veteran, decided to do something to help.
“Seeing it on TV, having people I know who are right in Houston,” Shumaker said Wednesday afternoon, an hour after putting the following post on Facebook:
I can't stand by anymore...something inside of me won't allow it. As the impact of Harvey is going to be felt for months and years to come in the coming weeks water, food, clothing and personal hygiene items will be an immediate need. A lot of people lost everything...think about that for a minute!
The Shumaker family is starting a collection and have friends in Houston that are going to distribute the items on the front lines. We'll store everything on my trailer or in the garage until arrangements are made.
I'm making a few calls to trucking companies for pricing to haul it but worst case scenario it'll get loaded on a trailer and hitched to the Jeep. Flood waters receding will dictate the delivery date so I am taking info on levels from the Weather Channel. In all reality it'll be a couple of weeks before the load leaves our fine community for Houston.
If you so feel inclined to help out let me know. If your garden gives you an abundance I'm sure fresh veggies will be a welcome sight and donations towards shipping costs would be appreciated.
Shumaker started by going through is own pantry to find food that could be donated. Then, during a trip to the dentist, he mentioned his intentions and was given several boxes of toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Now he’s counting on friends, not to mention fellow veterans, to lend a hand. And while there are plenty of other organizations, both big and small, providing aid to Houston, Shumaker wants to keep this on a more personal level.
“I’m just trying to get enough stuff right to the people who need it,” he said. “I’ve got a friend, they are right in Houston, right in the middle of the devastation. I want to get it to them so they can get it out on the streets. These people are going to be working for months to come, living in tents, trying to get their lives back together. Maybe not immediately, while people are in shelters, but in a couple weeks, as people get back into the neighborhoods, they’re going to need things and it would be neat to bring a trailer full of stuff down.”
Shumaker can’t afford a large truck to ship his items, but he’s willing to make the drive himself.
“I have the ability to fill up my Jeep and a cargo trailer and haul that down there,” he said. “As the next few days go on and some of the guys from the Legion see (his Facebook post), it’ll be a pretty decent response.”
As for the timing of his delivery, Shumaker said there’s no hurry.
“The neighborhood where my buddy lives, you can’t even get to it,” he said. “If you look at the Weather Channel, the water’s still rising in a lot of the neighborhoods. It could be the 12th to the 15th of next month before you see the water down below flood stage. I’d like to have a load all ready to go in the next 15 days.”
Anyone who would like to contribute can contact Shumaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.