Thank you to everyone who has reached out to us since Harvey hit Houston. As a quick update, our consultant Adrianne is back in her home, and her home is dry! Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for all of Houston. In fact, there is an entire section of the city known as "West Houston" that's still under water.
The pictures above are pictures from my neighborhood during and after the flood. This scene, piles of debris, gutted homes and memories on the curb, is what a staggering number of neighborhoods in Houston look like right now. The need for aide and relief throughout the city remains significant. Working professionals and families continue to struggle to meet their basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, gasoline to get to and from work, and the list goes on. Many relief organizations and government assistance options require a lengthy and cumbersome paperwork process to receive aide IF they qualify. While I logically understand the need for process and procedure, I want to provide a faster, less burdensome solution to getting the people of Houston what they need; no questions asked. No red tape! As such, I've come up with two gift card drive options.
Option 1: Gift Cards to CVS and Walgreens
After speaking with my son's pediatrician, the need to assist families with prescription medications is great. In disaster situations like this, even families who have insurance struggle to come up with the funds for their copay. He does not know of an organization currently meeting this need. The gift cards to CVS and Walgreens will be collected in any amount and distributed to pediatric practices at The Woman's Hospital of Texas - Houston Hospital and Nightlight Pediatric Urgent Care centers. The gift cards will then be distributed by the healthcare staff to families in need, as needed, no questions asked. If you're interested in the ultimate no red tape relief, this is your option! This option is NOT tax deductible.
Option 2: Gift Cards to Various Retailers Providing Basic Needs
My initial inclination was to collect gift cards to retailers that specialize in or carry clothing to help working professionals rebuild their professional wardrobes. Dress for Success Houston has informed me that the needs of Houston professionals are so great, they are collecting a broad spectrum of gift cards to meet all of their needs. We will be collecting gift cards in any amount to the following stores and businesses, and giving them to Dress for Success Houston to distribute to their community, as needed, no questions asked:
Walmart Randalls Mobil
Target HEB Chevron
JCPenney Kroger Phillips 66
Marshalls | T.J. Maxx Fiesta Exxon
For this option, Dress for Success Houston will provide donors with a letter indicating their tax-deductible donation. Please submit your full name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, and sum total amount of the gift card(s) you are donating with your gift card(s) to receive your letter. If you do not want a tax-deductible letter, please specify that.
All gift cards can be mailed to the following address:
Holly Wilbanks, WCG
6300 West Loop South
Bellaire, TX 77401
Want to take your support to another level?
Spearhead a gift card drive within your company, worship center, networking or professional group, your child's school, etc. Collect gift cards for one of the options listed above, and mail them to us. We'll make sure they get to the right people! If you collect gift cards for Option 2, please e-mail me at Holly@WilbanksConsulting.com for a spreadsheet that will help you track donor information for tax-deduction purposes.
Thank you again for your support of our city and our people. Please continue to keep the people of Houston in your thoughts and prayers.