Update: Talley Company in Madera answered volunteers’ pleas for help and will drive donations gathered by Clovis Unified bus drivers for Hurricane Harvey victims to Texas later this week.
Organizers became overwhelmed with goods after multiple donation drives and sought help to transport the items after learning they couldn’t use a Clovis Unified bus to make the trip.
Kenny Talley, 42, saw that help was needed in The Bee and is providing a truck and trailer to make the nearly week-long trip to Texas.
The trailer was being packed up Tuesday with donated goods such as bottled water, hygiene products, clothes, pet food and medicine supplies. Talley hopes to leave for Texas early Thursday morning.
Never miss a local story.
The Clovis Unified bus drivers who collected items for victims of Hurricane Harvey are overwhelmed with donations, and now they face the task of finding how to get them to Texas.
Mark Dudley, 33, whose mother organized the “Fill the Bus” donation drive last week and this weekend, said that “the community came together more than we expected.” Indeed, a second Clovis Unified school bus with relief items was already filling up Saturday. The final donation drive was set for Sunday at the Clovis Unified School District Office.
Dudley said the scheduled date to drive the items from Clovis to New Caney, Texas is Sept. 23. Organizers had hoped to get permission to drive the Clovis Unified buses to Texas, but that was not possible, he said.
Now he hopes someone with a big rig can lend some time and energy into driving the relief items to Victory Christian Center in New Caney, which is north of Houston. Dudley said the church was running low on relief items.
Since last weekend, local residents have dropped off many items for the hurricane victims. Dudley said donations have included bottled water, hygiene productsm clothes, pet food and medicine supplies.
Dudley said he looked at rental companies and asked about their rental trucks, but even those may not hold everything that needs to go to Texas. If it become too difficult to deliver everything, however, nearby victims of recent fires could benefit from the items, too.
“If we have too much and we cannot transport it, whatever we cannot take, I’d like to get it to the fire victims,” Dudley said.
Anyone who wants to help drive the items to Texas can contact Dudley by phone at 559-352-3721 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dudley said he is trying to figure out a way to cover the cost of fuel and travel for whoever can help. Google Maps lists the fastest route to New Caney as roughly 1,800 miles and 25 hours.