When Houston mom Becca Quisenberry saw a social media plea indicating an evacuated family had run out of diapers, she knew she had to do something.
Quisenberry is one of the lucky ones. Though she lives about 15 blocks from flooded areas, her home in Houston's West University Place has been untouched by flooding from Hurricane Harvey. "We are so close to one of the neighborhoods that floods all the time," she told Parents.com. "We decided we need to do something."
After taking diapers to the family in need, Quisenberry put out a call for donated items, encouraging locals to bring in-demand items directly to her home. Soon enough, a fellow resident had volunteered his military vehicle to help with picking up items and distributing them to nearby shelters. Quisenberry also enlisted other families and businesses who opened up their spaces as donation drop-off spots as well.
"The donations didn't stop. Our first floor was full within two hours. In about an hour we had about 100 cars to drop off stuff, and we were just one of three [homes serving as donation drop-offs]. People just started outpouring. I think I saw 5,000 diapers at one count. We just keep accepting donations—I had enough boxes of diapers to fill up an entire guest room. Everyone just feels so compelled to help,” she said. "We've been blessed by not having flooding and we just want to help everybody else."
Quisenberry also sent out a message indicating a need for breast pumps, and three arrived at her door by 8 am the next morning. People are also donating medical supplies, toys, Advil, trash bags, car seats and more, and items will be transported from Quisenberry's home to nearby emergency shelter locations (like the George R. Brown Convention Center).
Quisenberry, a mother of one, suggests those who are not in Houston make donations to local organizations who are working to help victims.
“We have four rooms downstairs piled five to seven feet high,” Quisenberry said. “We did a conveyer belt—all these high school kids walked over in the pouring rain…It’s just been awesome…We’ve really seen our neighborhood come together.”
Want to get involved and help victims of Harvey? Here's what you can do.