When Hurricane Harvey slammed the state of Texas in late August, one of the hardest hit communities was the coastal city of Rockport. The category 4 storm caused catastrophic damage to buildings, homes and infrastructure, as well as the ongoing problems caused by flooding. Regional news stations report that now, one month later, clinics are finally reopening, electricity has been restored in some areas, but the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey are still being felt. Weeks and months of recovery and rebuilding lie ahead for area residents.
On September 5, Rockport community members established a donation center (the Aransas County Harvey Donation Center) in a donated building to distribute critical supplies to area residents. While following news accounts of the devastation in Texas, Fagen, Inc. learned of the dire situation in the Rockport area and took action.
The company and its employees began collecting and organizing supplies at the Corporate Warehouse in Granite Falls. Fagen, Inc. shared information with the local media and used Facebook to spread the word. What began as a company call to action quickly became a community wide effort.
Residents and businesses from Granite Falls and the surrounding area joined in the effort. The Fagen, Inc. Warehouse staff organized, sorted, packaged and labeled all of the donated supplies and began loading a truck for Rockport.
On Tuesday, September 19, Fagen truck driver Brian Paulson departed from the Fagen Warehouse with a load weighing roughly 25,000 pounds. This load contained much needed supplies that the company was able to donate, such as gloves, extension cords, shovels, industrial fans, mops, buckets, first aid kits, brooms, dust masks, cleaning supplies and more. The Fagen team and area residents had also donated cases of water, canned food, pet food, baby products, hygiene products, clothes, paper products and more. On his way to Rockport, Paulson also stopped at the Fagen jobsite in Atlantic, Iowa to add two large crates of donations from those employees to the truck.
The Fagen truck arrived in Rockport on Thursday morning. The original donation center location had been moved from the donated building, which was condemned by the city, to a parking lot location. While not ideal, organizers made the best of the situation by setting up tents and open trailers as storage and distribution units. Paulson said when he arrived with the Fagen load, the organizers were thrilled to receive items that were organized, labeled and crated. The volunteer manpower required to organize and distribute donations is immense. Paulson also witnessed the National Guard on hand, distributing water and ice.
Shortly after the trip to Texas, Fagen, Inc. received this note of thanks from the donation center organizers: “Thank you so very much! Most of these supplies have already been distributed with the communities just in one day of reopening at our new location! Again, so thankful for Fagen being a part of delivering donations to help give relief!”
The Fagen team would like to thank area residents and businesses who donated to this worthy effort.
If you are interested in helping the residents of Aransas County, please visit their Facebook page: Aransas County Harvey Donation Center. They have updated their list of needed items and have also added an entity which will accept cash donations, which was not available before. The phone number to coordinate donation center drop-offs is 361-217-6533. Monetary donations can go to Rockport Fulton Chamber Foundation, a 501c3 set up for community-wide giving. For more information, call 361-729-6445.