Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks at an event in the Heights in December. (Shawn Arrajj/Community Impact Newspaper)
Following the destruction brought by large tornadoes across the Midwest, the city of Houston is partnering with Gallery Furniture owner Jim “Mattress Mack” Mclngvale and Kroger in raising funds and supplies for victims.
Collection boxes have been set up inside Houston City Hall, 901 Bagby St., Houston, and at Gallery Furniture stores across Houston. In a statement, McIngvale said he will ship all donated items to Kentucky and other affected areas in the coming days. No specific end date for the donation drive was given, and McIngvale said efforts will continue until the areas recover.
Kroger’s Houston division has sent more than 1,500 cases of water to affected areas, according to a press release from the city.
“Many families lost everything they had, including their homes, businesses, and loved ones,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. “By coming together and partnering with local businesses, Houstonians can be more effective in our outpouring of support.”
In total, more than 80 people died across Kentucky due to the tornado, which first touched down Dec. 11, according to Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. A disaster declaration was made by the President Joe Biden administration for the state Dec. 13.
A majority of the damage took place within Kentucky, but Illinois, Missouri and Tennessee were also largely affected.
“Kentuckians are tough,” Gov. Beshear said in a Tweet. “We are resilient people. But we also feel the love from this entire country. We can’t thank the people of America enough for your support during this time.”
Kentuckians are tough. We are resilient people. But we also feel the love from this entire country. We can’t thank the people of America enough for your support during this time. ^AB
— Governor Andy Beshear (@GovAndyBeshear) December 15, 2021
Nonperishable goods, cleaning supplies, bottled water, clothing and generators are among the list of suggested supplies the city recommends donating.
“In Houston, we know all too well the havoc these kinds of weather events can wreak on our communities,” said Laura Gump, president of the Kroger Houston division, sin a statement. “And so we are working with our partners, Mayor Turner and Jim McIngvale, to offer our support and help send trailers of bottled water to where it’s needed in our sister divisions.”