Brookhaven teen wants to share a bit of home with Texas flood victims
A senior at Brookhaven High School and a regional roofing company are both doing what they can to help those who have been hit hard by Hurricane Harvey.
Bernie Reed, president of Reed’s Metals, got a phone call from the governor and jumped into action with 18-wheelers at the ready and all hands on deck.
Rebecca Peavy, a 17-year-old from Ole Brook, saw sadness on the faces of the many victims in Texas and wanted to make someone smile. She put a cardboard box in the school attendance center and hoped to see it filled.
Reed and Peavy are not the only ones filling boxes and big rigs. Business, groups, churches and individuals all around Lincoln County are stepping up and pitching in.
Peavy heard that Toyota of Brookhaven was having a collection drive so she talked to a friend who worked there and made plans to add her own collection of donated items to theirs. She chose to collect hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
That’s what she’s hoping to fill her box up with often before Friday at 3 p.m.
She picked those items specifically because of being clean and fresh reminds her of being at home. She said so many people in Houston don’t have that right now.
“I wanted to give them a little piece of home and make them feel special,” she said.
Gov. Phil Bryant is joining forces with MEMA, Reed’s Metals, local schools and businesses to aid in relief and restoration across the Houston area. Bryant and Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith will be at The Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson Friday from 9 -11 a.m. to pick up cleaning supplies.
“My friend Bernie Reed and his staff at Reed’s Metals in Brookhaven are collecting cleaning supplies for those starting the process of recovering from Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath,” Bryant posted on Facebook this week. “Mississippians are the most generous people in the nation, and we have many friends and neighbors in dire need of that generosity. Please give if you can.”
Bryant is working with MEMA and Reed to coordinate relief efforts with a faith-based group, United Methodist Community on Relief, to begin the process of restoration once the water rescinds in affected Houston homes.
“This is a coordinated effort we are proud to assist in. The governor and I believe it is our moral responsibility to lend a helping hand to our neighboring state of Texas,” Reed said.
Reed’s Metals will work with local Lincoln County schools and businesses to help fill the truck with masks, gloves, mops, buckets and other necessity items. Reed’s Metals will make a final pick-up of supplies from Bryant and Hyde-Smith in Jackson Friday and then head to Texas.
“This is not a first-time effort that aligns with our Reeds Rescue and Relief Initiative. Since Katrina, we have donated countless food, water and other necessities to victims of natural disasters. We are happy to work with all schools, businesses, state agencies and more to help in any way we can,” said Reed.
Individuals can drop off at Reed’s Metals corporate office in Brookhaven or at any of the area schools.
Schools in the Brookhaven School District and Lincoln County School District along with Brookhaven Academy are partnering with Reed’s Metals to collect cleaning supplies for Texans.
Flyers were sent home with students asking specifically for cleaning supplies — masks, gloves, mops, buckets, cleaning wipes and other items.
Schools will be accepting items for the Reed’s drive through Thursday.
“We sent the flyer that Bernie provided us to all of our families through email and then we also posted it on our Facebook page,” said Brian Emory of Brookhaven Academy. “We’re excited to be a part of it. Bernie is always aware of social issues in his community and even outside the state. I’m not surprised at all that he is leading these efforts.”
West Lincoln Principal John Shows said he expects good participation.
“The kids are dropping it off to their homeroom teachers,” Shows said. “The homeroom teacher is collecting and we have a few areas to hold it until next Thursday.”
Loyd Star students were already collecting for Texas.
Their “People helping people” campaign is sponsored by Loyd Star’s Senior Beta Club, Teenage Republicans, Future Business Leaders of America, Agriculture Academy and the Hornet yearbook staff.
Each grade is asking for specific items, which can be dropped off at the high school office on Hwy. 550 by Sept. 11. For this drive — which is separate from the Reed’s Metals drive — students are collecting canned food items, socks, slippers, diapers, pet items, batteries, hygiene products and bottled water.
Donations of cash or gift cards will also be accepted.
“We really are trying to let this be student-led, student-driven, because we want them to know what it’s like to help others,” said Principal Robin Case.
Agriculture instructor Billy Sumrall has a niece who lives in Houston. She and her family are safe, but their home has fallen victim to the flooding.
“So, there’s a personal connection for us at Loyd Star, too,” Case said. “Billy said he can’t help his niece right now but he can help others. And that’s what we want to do. We just want to be a place that can help.”
Sumrall said the cleaning supplies collected through Thursday will go with Reed’s Metals. The other items will be part of a drive being organized by ag teachers across the state.
“So many are so giving,” he said. “We’re teaching these kids about community service and giving back.”
Students at Copiah-Lincoln Community College are gathering supplies for its “Help for Houston” drive.
Donations for Co-Lin can be dropped off at The Counseling Center in the Henley Building of Wesson’s campus daily from 7:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. Donations will be accepted through Sept. 8. Items requested are: toiletry items, diapers and baby wipes, new towels and blankets, new socks and underwear, bottled water, and canned foods with pop tops. Gift cards can also be donated, but not cash.
This drive is sponsored by the college, with staff and Trailblazers — student recruiters — working to sort and organize donations.
“We have a Co-Lin alum who lives in Houston,” said Scarlett Hart, Co-Lin public relations coordinator. “She will be making a trip to our campus next weekend to collect donations and take them back to Houston to a local distribution center.”
The Loyal Order of Moose and the Women of the Moose for Lodge 1968 are accepting donations at their family center at 1229 Calcote Loop, behind R.B. Wall, through Sunday.
They’re asking for water, non-perishable food, diapers and baby wipes, hygiene products and toiletries, cots, blankets, air mattresses and cleaning supplies.
Stephanie Allen with the Moose Lodge said cash donations are accepted as well. Checks should be payable to Brookhaven Moose Lodge and marked for “Hurricane Relief.”
Donations are also accepted through paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We’re hoping to get enough to fill an 18-wheeler,” Allen said.
They don’t have a destination in mind yet, but plan to take it where the needs are in the Houston area.
For more information, call Allen at 601-672-3874.
Zeal Consignment Boutique is a drop-off location for Loyd Star and The Moose Lodge.
Brookhaven Milling has also been collecting items for Texas.