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News Release
Friday, November 13, 2009

Hundreds of Hurricane Ike families in Galveston to get help Saturday
Thanksgiving turkeys and donated beds, coats, computers will be given to families

November 13, 2009 –Galveston families who lost their homes in Hurricane Ike are still suffering a year later and will receive Thanksgiving turkeys, and donated beds, coats, computers and needed items at a special event in Galveston on Saturday, November 14.

The Galveston Housing Authority has invited 2,199 families now receiving help under the Disaster Housing Assistance Program – Ike to gather on November 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for an outdoor event planned to help families who still have significant needs as they approach Thanksgiving. Only families currently in the Disaster Housing Assistance Program for Hurricane Ike will receive the donated items Saturday.

Professional boxer Felix Cora Jr., former Houston Texan and New England Patriot Greg Randall, who won a Super Bowl ring with the Patriots, and professional wrestling star Booker T. will be among those attending the event to give their support to the Ike families in need. The event will be held at the Island Community Center, 4700 Broadway.

In September 2008 when Hurricane Ike struck, thousands of island residents lost their homes. The Galveston Housing Authority is offering 1,900 families, elderly, and other individuals displaced by the storm temporary rental assistance. But even though they have a place to live temporarily, many of the families don’t have enough food, clothing, furniture and other household items.

“With so much for us to be thankful for this season, these families are still in great need,” said Harish Krishnarao, the executive director of the Galveston Housing Authority. “So many businesses, individuals, and social service agencies have come together for this event on November 14 and said ‘yes, we will help.’ It’s been a wonderful experience to see the community come together like this, especially as we approach Thanksgiving.”

Randall, the former Super Bowl winner and a La Marque native, said he is excited to participate and help the people of Galveston. “I am happy to be a part of such a tremendous event that will assist in the restoration of Hurricane Ike victims,” Randall said.

Among the donated items to be given to the Ike families Saturday are two bedroom sets, 125 mattresses donated by Star Furniture in Galveston, coats, 750 hot dogs, 1,000 tacos from Taco Bell, 1,500 drinks from McDonalds and laptop computers from Casey Hampton of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who benefitted from assistance from the Galveston Housing Authority as a young man.

The Housing Authority has purchased, at a reduced price from the Gleanings from the Harvest organization, turkeys and turkey boxes for the first 400 families who arrive at the event Saturday. The Housing Authority also has purchased care packages including roasting pans, crock pots, paper goods, and laundry detergent, and some coats.

Organizations from the Family Service Center of Galveston County to the YMCA and dozens more are joining forces with the Housing Authority at the Saturday event to offer information about community services and provide items of need. The Ike families also will have a chance to enjoy music, dance performances, face painting, a petting zoo and much more at the community fair.

Residents enrolled in the Disaster Housing Assistance Program must check in with a state-issued photo ID at the event in order to receive the donated items.

Among the community organizations attending the event to provide information to the Ike families will be:

·         Galveston County Veteran’s Service Office

·         Galveston County Dept. of Parks and Senior Services

·         The Children’s Center- Outreach and Assistance Program / Safe Place & Youth Advocacy

·         U.T.M.B. – Tele-Psychiatry

·         Teen Health Center

·         G.I.S.D./ Homeless Education Program

·         The Jesse Tree

·         The Northside Task Force

·          Galveston College

·          Census 2010

·          Galveston County Community Action Council/ Head Start Program 

·          Family Service Center of Galveston County

·          NIA Cultural Center

·          F.E.M.A.

·          * IKE RISE*- ICNA Relief USA, G.R.A.C.E. Community Services, BOAT PEOPLE SOS, INC.

·          The Boys  &  Girls  Club of Greater Houston- The Johnny Mitchell Branch

·          The Gulf Coast Center - (TEXAS P.R.I.D.E.)

·          Lone Star Legal Aid

·          Jewish Family Service

·          Y.M.C.A.

·          Texas First Bank

·          Girl Scouts of San Jacinto Council

·         Habitat for Humanity

·         Holistic CDC, Boy’s Rite of Passage

·         Grace Community Development Company

·         Galveston County Interfaith

·         Galveston’s Rosenberg Library Seeks “Memories of Ike”

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