Two groups of volunteers, one from Woodhaven Lakes and the other from Nightingales in Mendota, worked together on Sept. 1 loading a truck with supplies for people in Texas who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. (Reporter photo)
MENDOTA – Woodhaven Lakes in Sublette understands all too well the impact of being hit with a destructive storm. In 2015, an EF2 tornado ripped through Woodhaven causing damage to about 1,800 properties at the resort, some of which were completely demolished.
So last week when the people at Woodhaven learned of a way to help Texas residents affected by Hurricane Harvey, they sprang into action. Working from a list of specifically requested items, a group of volunteers led by Ivan Martinez, board of directors president at Woodhaven Lakes, they quickly got the word out and began gathering items.
Nancy Jackson, an owner at Woodhaven and volunteer at Nightingales Thrift Shop in Mendota, heard about the collection and suggested asking Nightingales for donations of items they may have on hand. After receiving a positive response from Nightingales, Martinez and the Woodhaven volunteers came to Mendota on Friday afternoon to pick up the donation. Working with Nightingales’ volunteers, they quickly loaded a pickup truck with many of the requested supplies such as adult diapers, new shoes, T-shirts and school supplies, which Nightingales was pleased to donate.
Martinez explained that through various connections among owners at Woodhaven, someone with a semi would bring their truck and transport all the donated items to the coastal Rockport/Fulton area in Texas, where the hurricane came ashore causing the destruction of over half of the town. Since monetary donations were not being accepted for this particular collection, Martinez noted that any money they received was used to purchase bottled water to send. “We only have a few more days to do this but our goal is to fill that semi with as many supplies as we can,” he said.
The semi was expected to be at Woodhaven on Sept. 5 to load the donations and take them to the Rockport/Fulton Volunteer Fire Department. “We have cases and cases of water to send, diapers, school supplies, pet food and many other items on the list,” Martinez said.
Recalling the hundreds of volunteers who responded to help with the clean up after the Woodhaven tornado, Martinez said they have not forgotten that generosity. “We got tons of help from people all over the place and now we are able to pay it back,” he said.