South Florida answers call to help Harvey victims

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - With reminders of previous hurricanes striking South Florida, local residents are pooling supplies and resources to help the victims of Harvey.

Of the many organizations answering the call, the Miami Dolphins is on of them. The football team has started accepting donations for Texas flooding victims by hosting a donation drive, which will last through early September.

According to Dolphins safety Michael Thomas, donations will be accepted at Hard Rock Stadium beginning Wednesday at 10 a.m. In a tweet on Tuesday, Thomas added that donations will be accepted until Sept. 15.

Both Thomas and Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard are Houston natives, and both of their high schools have since been turned into shelters.

“We immediately went into, ‘How can we help?'” said Miami Dolphins Foundation Executive Director Jennifer Jehn. “By talking with them and working with them, they told us direct items needed there at their high schools, which some of them are serving as shelters right now for more than 2,200 people.”

Those bringing donations for Harvey victims have been asked to enter through Gate 4 at the stadium, where employees will direct donors to the drop zone. Donations can be made every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. except on game days. You will be able to bring donations on game days only if you have a ticket to attend the game.

“I saw it on the news that you can bring the stuff here and drop it off,” said Monica Paterson, who donated clothes.

The Miami Dolphins provided the following list of supplies needed:

Baby diapers
Baby formula
Baby clothes
Non-perishable food
Bottled water
Sanitizer wipes
Clothing
School Supplies
Batteries
Candles
Blankets
Feminine hygiene products
Toiletries
Socks
New underwear
Hand sanitizer
Plates
Coffee
Creamer
Sugar

You can also drop off donations at the team’s Davie training facility:

BAPTIST HEALTH TRAINING FACILITY AT NOVA SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
7500 SW 30th Street
Davie, FL 33314

The Miami Heat is also pitching in.

Micky Arison’s family foundation has partnered with Carnival Cruise Line to donate $2 million to relief efforts.

The Rok Family Shul in Miami is partnering with other area Jewish community centers to collect the much-needed items.

“We have people which are dropping off stuff day and night,” said Rabbi Eli Lipskar.

Many other South Floridans have also begun collecting items for those in Houston, including a pair of Sawgrass Recreation Park employees who hit the road, Wednesday morning, with two trucks full of donations, along with an airboat to help with rescue efforts.

“We all have to help each other, and we’re all in this together,” said Sawgrass Recreation Park co-owner Mike Soverns.

Another family up in Plantation is also gathering supplies to take to Harvey victims.

“We saw the pain and suffering that we went through in Hurricane Andrew – we lived in Homestead – and we said, ‘OK, it’s time to do something about it,'” said Albert Molina, who turned his Plantation home into a donation center. “Everybody wants to help. They see the same things that we’re seeing on the news, and it’s devastating, and it’s painful.”

Molina has also set up a GoFundMe page to collect monetary donations.

Friends and strangers donated water, generators and mattresses that will be distributed by local churches and synagogues in Texas this weekend.

“Be there Saturday morning and have this in everybody’s hands by Saturday afternoon, Sunday morning — an immediate need,” said Molina.

Molina and his family plan to leave for Texas at around 5:30 p.m. Thursday. They originally planned to make the trip in an RV with an attached trailer, but thanks to volunteers, they will be taking two truckloads of donated goods.

“All we did here is just create the platform where they can help,” said Molina.

George Mercado of Pembroke Pines organized a caravan to Texas, Thursday, and is expected to meet up with fellow volunteers along the way.

“At one point, you sit down, and you reflect upon that, and tears come out your eyes because you can’t believe that there’s so much love out there right now,” Mercado said.

Donations also piled up at Mullins Park in Coral Springs. The Coral Springs Chargers youth football team was behind that effort.

“People are donating everything you can imagine someone’s going to need,” said AJ Poulin of the Coral Springs Chargers.

Also in Plantation, 70 new mattresses were donated by STS Electronic Recycling.

“You have it, you do it. That’s what our country is – the band of brothers.” said Robert Kaye, of STS.

For our four-legged friends, food is on the way from Boca Raton, thanks to Tri-County Animal Rescue and its partner organizations.

“We’re full, and we’re leaving Sunday,” said one woman.

For more ways to donate to the victims of Harvey, click here.

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