SOUTHINGTON - American Legion Auxiliary Unit 72 has set up a collection center for donated items to benefit the recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The Category 3 hurricane slammed into Houston, Texas and other nearby areas in a 300-mile path of destruction between Aug. 25 and Sept. 2 and, according to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, caused $180 billion in damages, damaged 200,000 homes and killed 50 people. The American Legion is now doing their part both nationally and locally to help disaster survivors.
Locally, the Legion has set up a collection box in the lounge of their post at 66 Main St. and is asking for donations of new socks and underwear, diapers and toiletries such as toothbrushes and toothpaste. These items will be collected and shipped to the Veteran’s Administration in Houston and will be distributed from a collection center at a Harley dealership.
“Any contributions you are able to make are in great need and will be greatly appreciated,” said Bob Abbott, communications officer at the Legion post. “We started our collection last week and we have received six large garbage bags full of donations so far. I was pleasantly surprised to see that.”
“It is going very well,” said Eileen Carney, president of Auxiliary Unit 72. “We just want to do our part and we have seen an amazing response. I’m getting all kinds of questions from people about what sort of items they can donate. We just got in a big delivery last night and our first pickup will be on Friday.”
On Friday, Carney said that the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 72 was able to fill the back of an SUV with donations.
According to Legion.org, the American Legion’s National Emergency Fund is also assisting the families of Legion members in Houston. The fund provides up to $3,000 for qualified Legion family members and up to $10,000 for posts. This funding can be used to cover expenses such as temporary housing, food, water, clothing and daily household items.
“During times of crisis, families come together,” said American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan. “Right now, priority one is saving lives. To all the people of Texas, the American Legion offers its support and prayers to the victims and the first responders in harm’s way."
For questions about local donations, contact Colleen Badgley by text at 860-384-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To donate to the American Legion’s National Emergency Fund, visit members.legion.org/tal/donatenow.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or email@example.com.